Silver epergne presented to William Farquhar, Singapore and England, 1824, silver

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Silver epergne presented to William Farquhar, Singapore and England, 1824, silver.

Collection of National Museum of Singapore.

Silver epergne presented to William Farquhar, Singapore and England, 1824, silver

This silver epergne was presented to William Farquhar, the first British Resident of Singapore. It was a parting gift from the Chinese community when he left the island in 1823. The epergne was an ornamental centre piece for the table. It had three branches to hold candles and a centre crystal bowl for fruit. It was made by a famous London silversmith, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. Such epergnes decorated the dinner tables of well-to-do families in England and signifies Farquhar's popularity with the Asian communities in Singapore in the 1820s.

Farquhar was summarily dismissed by Raffles in 1824 following disagreements as to how the fledgling colony of Singapore was administered. He is today recognised as having had an extremely significant role in the founding and initial administration of the colony.


This is an extract from "The Singapore Story through 60 objects" written by Kennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum & Group Director of Museums, National Heritage Board. This article was first published in Cultural Connections Volume IV 2019 by Culture Academy Singapore.