The “Chupu” is a covered jar with no handles or side knobs. It is also referred to as “Katmau” or “Himcheng”. This piece has steep walls, a tapering base and a wide mouth with a bevelled rim. A high domed cover is fitted over it with an inverted emerald green conical finial. The cover and body are decorated with a rose pink quatrefoil medallion enclosing a rose pink and white peony spray. This is set against a sombre brown background, which is a rare colour used in Nonya ware. However, bright pink sprays of peony blossoms help to add a feel of liveliness to the piece. Peonies symbolise spring, love, beauty and good fortune. Symbols from the Eight auspicious Buddhist Emblems with trailing ribbons on an emerald green background decorate the mouth of the jar and the rim of the cover. The colour green in the Chinese culture symbolises youth and spring. The Chupu could have been used as a food container and also used for double boiling foods such as herbal soups. As the third type of important ware used in Peranakan Chinese wedding ceremonies, it could have been used to contain delicacies symbolic of marital harmony, such as bird’s nest soup.

Late 19th-early 20th century
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Gross measurement: H:12.0 x Dia:10.3 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee