All Peranakan jewellery carries a storied history; if not in its ownership or craftmanship, then definitely in its design. The interbreeding and mixing of cultures and races found in the Peranakan traditions resulted in an eclectic mix of influences in their jewellery. By examining the core motifs found in any piece of Peranakan jewellery, we can help unlock the traditions and thoughts of the Peranakans of years past.
One of the largest influences on the Peranakan culture was due to their Chinese forebears, and so it is no surprise that we find a Chinese motif on this contemporary Peranakan gold pendant-brooch: the carp or the koi fish. Fish motifs can even be found in traditional Peranakan waffle iron moulds for making love letters, and even in their bolsters. In Chinese, the word for “fish” is also a homophone with the word for “abundance,” which makes fish itself a symbol for wealth in Chinese culture.
The carp is generally the most depicted fish due to their longevity as well as their large scales which resemble the mythical dragon’s scales. There is even a Chinese saying that when a carp leaps over the Dragon’s Gate, it will become a dragon! When creating the Peranakan Carp ruby pendant-brooch, the designer had similar wishes for the person who would bear this brooch.
When crafting this pendant-brooch, our designer decided on the ruby to not only add colour to this item, but to also merge the symbolism between the carp and the ruby; for what is the point of abundance if it is not fortified by good health, protected by sufficient wisdom, and perhaps most important of all, made worth having in the first place because of love. In today’s climate of fear and worry, this is a blessing that Foundation Jewellers prays for all our friends to possess. Is there someone in mind who you feel could use such a blessing? Share it with them and be blessed yourself today!