Kamcheng

Although the origin of the word is uncertain, Kamcheng has generally been interpreted as the Hokkien word for ‘covered vessel’ or covered round container’. It is a tub like container with a wide mouth and low collar. Larger containers like this usually bear a finial in the shape of a crouching Buddhist lion. The function of the Kamcheng is uncertain, though it was possibly used for storing boiled water or soups. However, it was one of the three important wares in Peranakan Chinese wedding ceremonies and used to bring various types of foods and sweetmeats to the bridal chamber. This ‘kamcheng’ has a common central motif that includes phoenix perched on a rockery from which blossoming peonies grow. The phoenix, a mythical long tailed bird, represents the virtues of righteousness, propriety, wisdom, humanity and sincerity. It can also symbolise the bride in wedding ceremonies and the Empress. Peonies symbolise several things, among them good fortune and nobility.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th centuries
Region
China
Dimension
Gross measurement: W: 26.0 x D: 25.3cm, Gross measurement: H: 26.3cm (w/o handles)
Accession No.
2006-00806
Material
Ceramics
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Ceramics