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Malacca, late 19th century
Silk velvet embroidered with silk floss (raised satin stitch, knot stitch, and bullion knots), cut metal beads, melon-form metal beads, glass beads, and cordonnet; edges of buttonhole stitch
Peranakan Museum [2011-01556]

This handkerchief stands out for its exquisite figures. Xiwang Mu, the Daoist Queen Mother of the West, rides on her phoenix; the reverse has Shoulao, the God of Longevity.

At the top is a horseshoe crab. It can be distinguished by its shape, greyish colour, and spiky tail. Since the smaller male clings to the female for long periods, the pair represents marital fidelity.

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  • Title: Ceremonial handkerchief

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