Butterfly hairpin

This hairpin is in the shape of a butterfly. Five white spherical stones are attached to it by twisted gold wire. Butterflies are symbols of conjugal felicity and often used as decoration during weddings, found on textiles, silver and jewellery.Hairpins like this would have been made for Peranakan women in the Straits Settlements to be worn as part of a wedding headdress. A Peranakan bride would tie her hair into a bun or sanggul and individual hairpins would have been stuck in to create a headdress. This hairpin is part of a set that comes from the collection of the family of prominent philanthropists and businessmen, Tan Kim Seng and Tan Jiak Kim.

early 20th century
Object size: 2.4 x 8.9 x 2.1 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Winson Tan in memory of the late Edward Tan TL

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