Peranakan beadwork

Peranakan beadwork, detail of tablecloth featuring birds and flowers in its designFragment of a beaded tablecloth, Penang, early 20th century, The Peranakan Museum Singapore 

During my last stay in Singapore a month ago I visited the Peranakan Museum and was really impressed with the amazing examples of Peranakan beadwork. One work was especially memorable: a large (126 x 118 cm) tablecloth made from over a million glass beads, featuring in its design colourful flowers, birds and insects on a turquoise ground. This is the largest known example of Peranakan beadwork in the world. One must visit the museum if only to see this master piece.

Souvenirs from Vietnam: pottery

Vietnamese ceramics for sale in Hoi An

Though not famous for its high quality, Vietnam ceramics nevertheless are creative and have a sort of rustic beauty different from that of the carefully refined ceramics from some other countries. There is an air of innocent carelessness about them as if the craftsmen who produced them were quite liberal in their creation not relying too much on the rules of symmetry and decoration.

Gem carved sculptures from Hoi An museum

Happy Buddha carved from garnet
Happy Buddha, garnet

On a picturesque and crowded with tourists street of the Ancient Town of Hoi An there is a small but interesting museum, the Gemstones Art Museum. It was founded in 2013 by a Vietnamese passionate collector. The museum's exhibition is divided into two sections: one showcases natural gemstone crystals and uncut stones and at another more than two hundred pieces of precious stone sculpture are displayed. In terms of quality and rarity of the stones, the variety of the carvings represented the collection has no comparison in Vietnam. Visitors have a unique chance to get to know and enjoy the great artistic and manual skills of Vietnamese craftsmen. Here are a few examples of the gem carving from the museum's collection