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Bolster plates

1900/1950

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

Besides the special furniture that was placed in the bridal chamber, the bridal bed was also decorated. These silver plates were sewn onto bolsters, as can be seen by the puncture holes along the rim. This Indonesian custom was adopted by Peranakan Chinese. The motifs on the bolster plates are Chinese, and appropriately chosen for the bridal bed. On the round plates qilin are depicted in the wish that this benevolent mythical creature will bring many successful sons to the family. The birds on the octagonal plates are feng huang, the Chinese version of the phoenix, and symbolizes abundance, and longevity. It also represents the human qualities of virtue, duty, correct behaviour, humanity, and reliability.

Bali; first half-20th century; silver

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