Sunday, August 21, 2011


A typical wooden window frame with movable shutters

               A cannon ball which has other usage as well

ANTIQUES, FAMILY TREASURES AND HEIRLOOMS are found at homes. That is if the homes have been in existence for many decades. Or if the family have moved but have salvaged all if not some of the old artifacts,with them, then they are safe and sound. However the vagaries of nature may contribute to some damages.

        An old Siamese clay offering bowl in its original design and hand painting.
Dinner Plates are favourite collection pieces. They come in varied design

      A clay bowl in the shape of a duck used as a face powder container

I am thinking that as we prepare to tidy the house for  Shawal or at any other time, why not have a good look in the corners or inside old containers or even under the house if it  is the old Malay homes. You may be lucky or surprised to find items which the antique collectors will be glad to have their hands on. Now that antique markets have sprouted in most towns, surprising us with prices of items for sale, why not salvage any that may be around the homes. The items could be anything that our parents or grand parents have possessed and remained in the house for years without us knowing and realizing their values and significance.   
You can find water- containers aplenty at Kuala Kangsar Perak but to come across an old one like this is a lucky opportunity. I believe it is referred to as 'Koja"

I am no great collector myself but thankfully I have long realized  the uniqueness and the antiquity of many of the old collectibles and have saved or kept many items of beauty and significance. At least having the care and continuity to appreciate the old odd collections that have been either bought or owned by the families before me. Likewise hopefully our own children and later generation will know their significance and treasure them too. 

Imagine choicest watches, cameras , hand phones, personal computers, type-writers and even clothing etc of your time being discarded and only to realize that they are of value because of their uniqueness or production. Jewelery pieces of your grand- mothers , mothers and wives in all their ornate designs are treasure pieces. Not suggesting that you take them away but cautioning that they are not traded or exchanged for modern items. Books too are collectibles.

An old valuable  'ketam'', an important tool to the carpenters and house builders before until electric tools take precedent

Perhaps it is easier to impress upon you the significance and inherent beauty and fascination of old items if you see some of my collections. None were purchased from antique shops etc but all inherited by virtue that I care and seek out for them even when I was in school before. Most fortunate we grew up and lived in the same house until the late 20th century. Even then the house was never abandoned. It lives on, reconstructed and reallocated. 

Thus our home now carries on with that episode. Wishing that the children too will place the same values and significances.The decorative pieces on the walls and mantelshelves etc thus are not newly bought items but reminders of what our grand parents and parents found as luxuries of their time. They are priceless treasures now permitting us to live on sharing their antiquities. 

May you find your search produced assets to your satisfaction and lead to more discoveries. One advice especially: " Have a keen eye " 

Nevertheless,the mystery and the unanswered questions prevail. How did the pieces get to be in the home? Who bought or owned them? If you know that your parents too were in the dark about them, so did they belong to your grand-parents? Become more interesting as you may question where did they get them? All that makes the discovery a challenging episode as there are questions to be asked.


Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

The ketam brings back nostalgia for me...used to play with Atok's ketam when I was a kid. Atok, my father's father, was a carpenter. He and his brothers built many a houses along the Sungai Perak.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al-Manar said...

One of my regrets is the demolision of the house I was raised, the fifth generation in that particular house. It happened when I was away in UK, done because of the acquisition of the propery by the state ( under the pretext of public interest!)Just imagine the many ancient objects there. In he process many of my own books and diaries were gone missing. I can only reminisce the many ancient objects, manuscripts etc.

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kotastar said...

SOS Can anybody help to translate or explain what the last comment in Russian I think meant.

kotastar said...

Sdr Al Manar,

So sorry to hear about yr loss. That's what I meant when we forgot about the 'treasures' in the house. Books, periodicals, manuscripts, old Koran too can easily disappear. I knew a family who sold off their parent's home because of white ants etc. The buyer dismantled the pillars, rafters etc but at the same time carted away all the loose furniture and souvenirs kept in the home when the owner was away at work, They paid a petty some for the timber but gained a fortune from the 'treasures'.

I can only sympathized with you for that 'disaster'.I can imagine the great loss.

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