This porcelain spoon comprises of a simple oval shaped scoop with a handle and gilt-edged rims. It carries the reign marks of “Xuantong nian zhi” with “zero” at the centre, suggesting that it could have been made during period of Emperor Puyi’s reign from 1908 to 1911. It is decorated with motifs of a phoenix in flight, its brown tail extending along the handle. The phoenix flies among a spray of pink and white peony. The phoenix is an auspicious symbol in the Chinese culture representing beauty, grace, high virtue, the bride and the Empress. Likewise, peonies are auspicious symbols that symbolise spring, love, beauty and good fortune. The colour yellow is used in the background was not usually associated with weddings, but was still considered an auspicious colour for festive occasions and the all important sixtieth birthday celebrations. Peranakan Chinese spoons were usually smaller, more graceful and delicate than those used by other Chinese to eat food.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Dimension
Gross measurement: H: 6.0 x W: 13.1 x D: 4.5 cm
Accession No.
2009-03041
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee
Category
Ceramics