Wedding chest

This wedding chest is part of a set of Chinese lacquered chests used by some Peranakan families for the storage and transportation of clothes and personal items. These were made in China from “red and gold” namwood and were used both domestically and abroad. The chest is covered with carved motifs gilded with gold leaf. This is a technique where fine gold leaf powder is applied to the wooden surface to form a thin coating of gold. The motifs include a pair of phoenix and floral motifs, possibly peony blossoms. The phoenix is considered an auspicious symbol in the Chinese culture that represents high virtue. When represented as a pair, the creatures also symbolise the wedding couple. Peonies are auspicious symbols of wealth and prosperity. The chest is produced in the two auspicious colours of red and gold, the colours of the traditional Chinese wedding.

Date/Period
Early 20th century
Region
Singapore
Dimension
Gross measurement: H:38 x W:73.2 x D:52.5 cm
Accession No.
2009-01430
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Category
Furniture