Antique Diamond Hair Pin, Peranakan Intan Jewellery

Hair ornaments for the Peranakan lady may be specific hair pin or converted from another jewelry piece. This antique diamond hair pin is a specific piece, a decorative pin which would have been placed at the top and center section of the chignon. The glorious chignon would have already been held in place by less ‘busy’ pins such as the three-stick chignon (sanggul tiga batang), or in a clockwise handsome topknot held by sets of cucuk sanggul, long and tapered and usually graduating lengths and sizes. The number and size of the hair pins have practical and cultural indications as to the age of the lady and the occasions she attended to. A shorter set for a young girl; longer and more pins for luxuriant tresses as a young woman, and with lesser hair she will not need as many.

You see, it is not possible to talk about this one hair pin without understanding its part in the highly suggestive roles of the nyonya in the Peranakan society. This intan hair pin has a desirable curve, fanning inwards towards the head at its widest. The motif is a flower visage, not particularly elaborate (for intan floral designs) but a statement in its elegance. This piece would have been inserted into the chignon at the top of the head, aligned above the nose.

This Peranakan intan hair pin is also distinctive for its rose gold color, where it may or may not have been recently chromed for its present day perfection. The light etching appears like a seed bearing fruit, flowering.

(Antique Diamond Hair Pin, Peranakan Intan Jewellery)

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