One Sunday morning, I went to visit this Flea Market when my wife was flying to Houston in Texas. I was very bored and decided to check out some antique tiffin carriers for my classmate who lives in Cayman Islands. He is the only friend on this planet who shares the same antique passions like me but he is far more serious with his collections since he was a child. I managed to broker and went to deliver a huge Peranakan Dressing Table to his empty bungalow house in Penang during the CNY. He lives most of the time in Cayman Islands, so his empty bungalow naturally attracted hundreds of wandering spirits who enjoyed relaxing on his mother of pearl Rosewood furnitures. He has too many antique pieces until all his dozen of siblings are so afraid to sleep overnight as many had encountered seeing ghosts walking freely like their own house.
What he scared me most were his collections of porcelain plates, bowls, golden hair pins, kerosang and jade bangles dated from the last Qing Dynasty!! I also have many such precious plates and bowls but his were differently sourced. My classmate hailed from a poor family who managed the vegetable farms where all siblings had to help out in the farm before dawn. After finishing his watering and harvesting vegetables for the market, he would be late for school everyday but he was grateful that I was the class monitor who always closed one eye without any disciplinary actions. Besides the farming, he would sell newspapers every night along the streets of Penang just to earn 5 cents for each newspaper sold. During the Qing Ming Tomb Sweeping Weeks, he would be armed with a parang and changkul to offer his services to help any families who wanted him to trim the overgrown tall weeds and cut down whatever tree branches. Whooaa!!!! That's where he often found many odd pieces of antique porcelain wares, jeweled hair pins, kerosang and jade bangles being thrown into the bushes. He told me the creepy stories that the grave diggers were the ones who often found them in between the ancient graves while digging the new plots for burials. The labourers were not least interested and had no idea of antique values therefore they picked them up and threw into the side bushes of overgrown lalangs. So my friend promptly adopted the "Finders Keepers" theory.
There is a very popular Weekend Flea Market at the basement of a popular mall in Petaling Jaya. It has been there for over a decade where you would see many people flocking there on Sunday mornings until late afternoons.
This is the popular tiffin carrier which was used by the Peranakan community of Bibiks & Nyonyas during the end of 19th century till 20th century. They are very colorfully made from Czechoslovakia and attracted the Nyonyas to carry them. Today they are easily worth over RM400 for a 4 tier piece. They are made of strong metal with glazed paints that could last over 100 years! Those days I believe they cost less than $1.00 each and that's how inflation makes the antique prices appreciate so many folds.
These are the colourful Nyonya trays which we seldom see nowadays.
It is very interesting to browse around and see how these ancient irons were made. They have different storage compartments for the burning charcoal to heat up the irons to press our clothes. What surprised me was several pieces even had compartments to pour water inside. I am not sure how the steam could ooze out to help the process of clothes ironing. Interesting!
This Ice Grinder machine certainly brought back many childhood memories where I always bought ice kachang and the Iced Balls with red & sarsi syrup. Have you tried those iced balls?
This was every child's favourite gambling called "Tikam Tikam" which often made my mother scream her lungs out at me for wasting all my pocket money to win so much nonsense and useless mini toys. I was happy and nothing could stop me! ha ha!
The crowd are always mingling around the stalls selling collectibles like old stamps, coins and bank notes. These American dollars are worth a fortune now!
These are the popular Nyonya's Dresser Tables which were all custom made by the wealthy Peranakan and Chinese families.
When I stood here to see all the ancient weapons of Malay warrior's Keris and Kempetai Samurai swords, my hair all stood up and ran away as fast as I could. There were hundreds of spirits around the table. My instincts told me that probably hundreds of victims had been killed or beheaded by these deadly weapons.