14 June 2010

Baba & Nyonya : Famille Rose

Famille Rose is another name for their Nyonyaware or "Shanghai".

They called it as "Shanghai" is because the porcelains are once sold by the Chinese from Shanghai, or exported from Shanghai. In the olden days, these beautiful porcelains are brought by the Mainland Chinese from China, and some are made locally since after they settled and become a Baba. Through time, they adpat their lifestyle into the design & colors of the porcelain. The way of living of the Baba towards "refinement" drives them to create a beatiful porcelain, with a lot of complexity. The more complex the design, the more expensive they are. The Baba families, usually keep these Famille Rose inside their cabinet, to show to the guest, among with the silverwares.

I intended to do a research about this because, the nyonyaware designs are distinctive than any other porcelain design. The major influence of chinese porcelain for the shape and decorations, inspired from the victorian floral decors, and an authentic choice of colors from the Strait Chinese point of view.

The nyonyawares are distinct in terms of color usage, and the symbolisation of the illustration.
It is usually owned by middle to higher class of Baba family. These porcelains are considered rare and noble, therefore they are bought by local and foreign antique collectors.

Each of these porcelains have their own usage, such as the paso Shanghai (vase) which is used for deities altars,
nyolo (incense pot), tekoan (teapots) and so on...

The different colors resembles for different occasions, for example :
White and Blue : for funeral, worshipping ancestors during Ceng Beng & Ghost Festival.
The brightly colored "Shanghai" are meant to celebrate festive occasions such as birthdays and weddings.

Here are some difference of "Shanghai" and "China" porcelains:

With a brief conclusion, i think that the Famille Rose should be introduced more to public, although some people won't really interested to see forward it, but it is one of the distinctive possessions that the Baba ancestors inherit to their descendants.

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