This panel is a curtain tie back. It is one of usually a pair. It is made up of two separate pieces of embroideries sewn together. The upper section is done using the Malay ‘tekat’ or ‘sulam timbul’ work. This is a raised embroidery work using gold and silver metallic threads. The lower section uses the technique of bead netting where a surface of beads is created by inserting threads through them to form a unified structure. Coloured seed beads to create motifs of birds, monkeys and flowers here. Hanging from the bottom of this piece are beadwork tassels. Curtain tie backs were common in the bridal chamber and used during festive occasions. The upper section of this piece is adorned with auspicious motifs of phoenixes and peonies. Peonies represented springtime which was an auspicious time to get married. Phoenixes were symbols of high virtue and grace. The depiction of these mystical creatures in pairs also represents happiness and good relations between the married couple.

Date/Period
Early 20th century
Region
Penang
Dimension
Object size: 50 x 30.5 cm
Accession No.
2005-01306
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Furnishings

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