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Silver baby rattle

1915/1915

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

Although traditionally not the custom, probably due to western influence friends and relatives give presents to the newborn. It is common to give ang pao (a red envelope containing money), or sometimes jewellery if it is for a girl. This baby rattle, combined with whistle, might also have been a gift at a baby’s one-month celebration. It is made from silver and has a mother-of-pearl handle. Although made after a European model, its Chinese manufacture is indicated by the Chinese maker’s mark. Also Chinese characters are written between the little bells, which can be read in two ways: ji xiang ru yi and as ru yi ji xiang, which can loosely be translated as ‘may all your wishes come true’.

Java; ca. 1915; silver, mother-of-pearl

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