Following out little shopping escapade in Jonker Street was the next stop in our Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia Melaka program; The Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum. No. It is not open after midnight but the owner has kindly keep his door open for us Sahabat Media.
The Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum is located opposite of the ancestral home of Tun Tan Cheng Lock (No. 111) along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, formerly known as Heeren Street. Owned by Baba Peter Soon Seng Mah from Penang, who is also the owner of Penang’s Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the collection here at this jewellery museum worth millions of Ringgit. There are currently 400 pieces of jewellery on display.
Stepping into the place, we were greeted by this. A very classy and expensive living room.
There was console table
Praying altar where the Baba and Nyonyas worship their Gods and ancestors.
Spotted an office too at one corner of the first floor.
Moving forward into the interconnecting hall was a glimpse to the darker side of the Peranakan family in the olden era, which is the Opium room.
In the opium room there is this antique wooden lounge.
Equipments used to feed your opium addiction.
Feeling pretty much uncomfortable with the thought that someone could have actual died over here while feeding their nasty opium addiction, I decided to go upstairs, where the jewellery collections is being displayed.
Part of the jeweleries being exhibited here in the Chinese Straits Jewellery Museum.
Phoenix themed bangles made from pure gold. Uniquely crafted and there is only a pair of this.
More bangles and hairpin
Apart from intricate and expensive jeweleries, there is the wedding hall, where all about Peranakan weddings is displayed. Here in the picture is the wedding garment for ladies of that era, complete with heavy headpieces.
Traditional Peranakan weddings is rather elaborated. But in short, they take a total of 12 days to complete the entire wedding. An interesting thing to note that in that era, women’s virginity and chastity is taken very seriously. Virgin brides are celebrated and welcomed formally into the family after the consummation of marriage with a huge Nasi Lemak feast where everyone in the family attends while non-virgins were shunned upon and have no pride and status in her in-laws’ family and would be treated rather harshly. Men are also allowed more than one wives and takes concubines too in that era.
Moving on, we were given a glimpse to the Nyonya’s daily lives. Here you can see a young Nyonya’s daily wear. A cotton short Kebaya blouse with a simple batik sarong.
An elderly nyonya daily wear. A shapeless long blouse paired with batik sarong.
A collection of Kebayas
Hand made bead shoes
Delicately sewn transparent Kebaya. The details is amazing.
Last but not least was the traditional bed.
There is one more section where you can see smithing exhibits, but unfortunately for me, I accidentally left my DSLR in the hotel and my phone was already out of battery and couldn’t take photos anymore. So…if you are interested in the lives of Baba and Nyonyas in the olden era, you should head over here and take a look at things yourselves.
Below 6 years old: free
10am – 5pm (Mon – Thurs & Sun)
8pm – 10pm (Fri & Sat)
Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum
Add: 108, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street), 75200 Melaka.
Email: [email protected]
The trip to Melaka was made possible by MMode, Santai Travel and Malaysia Tourism.