Between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, many housewares items made from vibrant colored ceramics were imported from the Mainland China by the Peranakan families in the Dutch East Indies. Bright colors porcelains were chosen by the Peranakans to distanced their culture from their Chinese motherland influence. Because of these colors selection, mainland Chinese considered Peranakan-wares as unchinese.
These particular porcelain containers resembling eggplant, pear and peach are some examples of Chinese imported porcelain housewares that were mainly used by the wealthy Peranakan nyonyas in Palembang as jewelry boxes. These auspicious fruits are believed to bring promotion, success and peace to a Peranakan family.
Today, these relatively difficult to find fruit shaped containers help us to have a glimpse of the fascinating Peranakan Chinese culture.
For similar items please see Indonesian Chinese Peranakan : A Cultural Journey (2nd ed.).(2012), INTISARI and Indonesia Cross-Cultural Society.