Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Flea Market @ Antiques & Collectibles

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.



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44 comments:

  1. Did you buy anything from the flea market?

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    1. This round no purchase as I was taking photos of different tiffin carriers for my Cayman's friend to choose. That fella has too much money that's why he lives in Caymans to relax.

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  2. Amazing Collection... What you bye from these collection... :)

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    1. Last few visits, I bought old bank notes used by the Japanese during WW2 and some old First Day Covers. Their value have appreciated so much now.

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  3. I never seen such colourful ice grinding machine. Usually monotone.

    Gosh. Your friend is such an avid antique collector. I do believe some very ancient antique has spirit around it. And with so many old antiques in one place, there is no doubt for roaming spirits in your friend's Penang house.

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    1. I was surprised to see the colourful ice grinder too. Probably their colours came off and the antique seller painted after cleaning the rusts and dirt.

      Usually old spirits who have not reincarnated like to linger around a place that has much happier memories for them. My friend's house makes a good setting for a ghost movie! Bwahahahaha

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  4. Mentioning about tikam tikam, reminds me, when I was younger, I spend my money on those toy catcher machine, lol... And like what you mention, nonsense and useless mini toys, but I was also happy, lol...

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    1. What a naughty girl you were!! Wakakakaka
      Nowadays the Tikam-Tikam has been replaced by those glass bowls where you insert coins and turn the tap. That one guarantees us with some better toys unlike our childhood days, kena tipu left and right.

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  5. The colourful nyonya trays sure bring back memories of spending time back in the kampong with my late grandparents.

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    1. Now you got me tempted to buy a few antique trays to keep for investment! Should I????

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  6. I used to buy 2nd hand vinyl records from there but it's been a while since I last visited this flea market. Should go check it out.

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    1. Wah!!! How do you play those old records? Show me your old record player.

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    2. The old one had just conked out .I'm getting a new one from Bangkok .

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    3. You should cook me a nice Thai meal and invite me over to hear your gramophone playing Lin Dai or Troy Donahue crooning their voices. That's heavens.

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  7. Gosh, the Peranakan collection caught my attention! They're so pretty, Tan! xoxo

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    1. Yes they are very nice! Tell me when you need and I will be a broker. Ha ha ha....

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  8. I've been to this flea market. I like those olden tiffin carriers too. Those ice grinders are still being used till today, you can still find them at some cendol and ice kacang stalls. I'll make sure to stay away from the weapons stalls since you can see many spirits lurking there...yikes! O_o

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    1. I noticed some difference with that antique piece and new ice grinders today. They have the same functions and shavers but the iron cast is simpler for todsay's modern ones. Just like the difference between a vintage car and a new Honda.

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  9. Alamak! You can sense spirit? Yikes! This is the reason I don't want to keep antiques at home as I don't know where they used to be or who owned them before me. I find them eerie.

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    1. I also can hear spirits talking sometimes and gave me sleepless nights with their noise.

      It is better not to keep antiques and keep your money safely in the banks. Antiques are not eerie but beautiful to my eyes!

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  10. I think my late aunty has that tiffin carrier... i love amcorp mall but every time i go there for the flea market, my wallet bleeds :( it's a paradise for toy collectors but the vintage items are pretty cool to get as deco especially for those hipster cafe. HAHAHA

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    1. Honestly, my wallets bled too but this time I made sure my wallet was almost empty when I reached the flea market. The items that could appreciate fast are the collectibles like old bank notes and first day covers. Better than keeping money in the bank savings account.

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  11. Wow those antiques bring back good old memories hahahahaa

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    1. Yes you should visit that place which is not far from your home!

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  12. I'm sorry, I don't like antiques because they give me a very eerie feeling. This friend of yours, if I remember correctly, you did write a post about his house and antique collections before. Ah dear, you actually saw spirits near those ancient weapons. I will stay away from those if I ever come across!

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    1. The earlier blog post I wrote about was my friend's condo at Kelana Jaya and not that bungalow in Penang. That condo was more hanuted by 100 times! He was the financial controller with Berjaya Group and has passed away right after his retirement. Death waits for no one.

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  13. I do believe that spirits loiter around those antique collections, what a vividly coloured ice grinder machine, my buddy jose likes to collect those antique emperor coins etc and she ever mentioned that those spirits like to look for her when she is chanting so it is true that antique collections and spirits are linked

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    1. I think spirits look for anyone when they do powerful chantings. I don't think it could just be from the coins only as millions & millions of wandering spirits roam all over the earth in other dimensions. The Tibetan Buddhism teaches one to do protections before they start big prayers to safeguard themselves.

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  14. Wait! What? Dozen of siblings? There's lot of siblings your friend have there. By the way, I don't really into collecting all these antique items cause I believe it attracts the spirits. Except for tiffin carrier and Nyonya trays, I think these should be fine. My mom has few of Nyonya trays at home.

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    1. You are quite right that those antique tiffin carriers and trays should be safer as the spirits often like to linger around the old furniture, beds and porcelain pieces instead.

      Yes my friend has almost a dozen siblings while my father had 21 siblings from 3 mothers.

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  15. You can see those spirits? An interesting visit to the antique goods flea market on a Sunday

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    1. Do you want to know how spirits look like?

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    2. No, thank you, ignorance is bliss hee hee :P

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    3. It is good to know now so that when one passes away, he can blend into other dimensions better!! Ignorance is a bad habit lah! Muahahahaha

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  16. Lots to see at the flea market.. air con some more? Over here, flea market is in town where all the foreigners are more than locals... I never been there before, just drove past each time and it is only open on Sundays..

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    1. This flea market is in the basement of the shopping mall which is well sheltered with air con. Your best friend Kathy used to hang around the book stores upstairs.

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  17. I don't think I have seen any ice balls sold in kl when I was a child so I have never eaten any before.

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    1. You must be a good daughter and stayed at home eating all home cooked food. Bwahahaha

      You can take a look at someone's blog post which shows about the iced balls in Penang. It was also popular in other states.

      http://michnoms.blogspot.my/2014/12/70s-ice-ball-armenian-street-penang.html

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  18. Wow, very interesting antiques out there and these are really worth manmade to be used for many year… the tiffin carrier is very catchy and the steam iron box sounds amazing too. I also like old things and in childhood like picking interesting things from the shops that handle scraps and it’s nice to know how u r friend caught into the passion for antique.

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    1. I would gladly give you some old collectibles for friendship remembrance if I ever meet you someday!

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  19. Walao, antiques and jewelries from graveyard, any scary thing happen to him ar? Those antiques sold at flea market definitely good to see and I enjoy checking out them too but the prices are too steep to own one, do you agree?

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    1. I agree that nothing is really cheap at antique flea markets but they make good investments.

      I think nothing has happened to my friend as he runs business and lives in Cayman Islands. His luck has been surprisingly very good. Maybe the spirits helped him to make good choice investments.

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  20. This flea market used to be a favourite meet-up spot for me and my best friend who lived nearby! But she has now moved away so I haven't been here in awhile. Nice to see it is still thriving.

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    1. This mall is booming now after they enhanced the feng shui on the roof top. They painted the Pyramid with red colour. The previous blue colour was water elements and all went wrong. You will enjoy this place now.

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