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Ideal time : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : SGD 15
Book an appointment before visiting the museum

Timings : 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Katong Antique House, Singapore Overview

The Katong Antique House is a two-storied antique shop located in the Katong area of East Singapore. Part shop and part museum, it is owned by Peter Wee, a fourth-gen Baba Peranakan. The museum houses Nyonya artefacts and sells Peranakan goods. It is a representation of the Peranakan presence in Singapore. Peter gladly takes the visitors through a remarkable collection of Peranakan antiques, artefacts and other objects while sharing his tales of history and culture of the Peranakan family.

The old shophouse's walls are decorated with Peranakan prints and portraits. The two storey house is full of Peranakan crockery, costumes and furniture. All of these antiques reflect Peranakan's culture. The home-cum-museum shows traditional Peranakan longs dresses called Baju Panjangs and Batik Sarongs, the native Malay dresses. Handmade shoes called Kasot Manek are also here for display. These shoes have beaded designs and elegant motifs of fish, flowers, phoenixes and dragons. These patterns are adorned all over the furniture of the store. Each motif is believed to bring specific values like prosperity, fertility, wealth and longevity.

All of these antiques are arranged all over the house in no specific order, and this creates a colourful effect bouncing off the walls. Some of the special things not to miss are the wedding pictures and portraits all over the walls of the Katong House. Peter Wee has spent decades collecting this wide range of items that reflect the unique facets of Peranakan daily life. The pictures, artefacts and belongings that date back to Peter's older generation and shows the affection he has for his ancestors.

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History of the Peranakan Family

The Peranakans are descendants of traders hailing from China, who settled in Malacca around the coastal areas of Java and Sumatra. In the 20th Century, they embraced Christianity, and since then, their houses have Catholic home altars, Buddhist decorations and Taoist deities all under one roof. The Peranakans had a flexible outlook and showed great interest in integrating a considerable amount of elements from the Indian, Malay and Western Culture.

These cultures influenced the Peranakans and yet have theirs retained. They are believed to retain the Chinese culture better than the Chinese of China. They gradually developed their own culture and language as a blend of their adopted countries and cultures. In the year 1819, when Singapore was colonised, come Peranakans moved to a tiny island state and befriended the English colonists. Since then, Peter has been striving to collect and gather the lost and forgotten possessions of the Peranakan Family.

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