Thursday, August 21, 2008

Antiques @ Kapitan Chung Keng Quee's Mansion

I love old antiques very much! I would not hesitate to invest hours admiring the historical displays at junk stores in Melaka and any museums in Malaysia or abroad. I would study the meticulous details of the shapes, designs, colours and usage practicality of these old artifacts. My mind would go into trance at once, and transport back to the old bygone days.

My recent visit to Penang was truly fruitful as my honey & I managed to brave the blazing heat of 38 degrees to walk the streets of the quaint chinatown in search for this grand old mansion once belonged to Kapitan Chung Keng Quee. It is neatly tucked in the middle of Church Street, behind a pair of huge colonial designed iron wrought gates. It was a majestic and pretty sight from a distance.

There are hundreds of lovely priceless & rare antiques in this mansion but I am just showing you just a few photos below. Don't scream, I want you to visit this whole interesting place by yourself! Even the Raja Permaisuri Agong (Perlis State - Queen) had to make a visit by herself to see this awesome place. Trust me, you will be very impressed beyond words!

This building has been listed by UNESCO under the World Heritage Trusts.

Kapitan Chung Keng Quee (1827 - 1901)
He was the most respected Hakka man for being the leader of the Penang & Perak's Hai San secret society of the British Malaya during the Larut Wars (1860 - 1884). He was also a greatly admired philanthropist tycoon who vastly contributed towards building schools and temples. When he died, it was believed that his cash, tin mines  & estates totaled over US$10 million!!! My dashing late uncle Jimmy Chung who looked like James Dean was his descendants but I believe that he inherited nothing. Don't ask me why, I am not so kay-po-chee.

The spacious entrance leading to Kapitan Chung's mansion.

A very impressive courtyard, ideal to sip soothing Chinese tea and gossip about the latest scandals in the parliament!

Waaah! It was the first time I saw a real antique camera! Say Cheese! I won't tell you how it operates, see for yourself ok?

Everything was so grand right from the floor up to the ceiling. The hanging chandelier has so many dangling crystals that would sparkle my eyes blind.

Even the windows are so beautiful when the sunlight shone through its stained glass. It would uplift your spirit to start the day - beautifully.

Take note of the many colored Victorian crystal vases lining the table with 2 huge paintings of Kapitan Chung and his wife adorn the wall, wearing their impressive Imperial-looking Manchu costumes.

I loved everything there including the floor I walked on. The patterned tiles don't look old fashioned at all even in modern today. 

This unique brass ware is a Double Dragon Urn with 3 legs. I believe they make good Feng Shui decorations.

This Westernized wall cuckoo clock is very rare and unique. It was not working, maybe the cuckoo bird went out for tea or flown away.

This was the smallest chest cupboard photo I'm sharing with you. The flowery carvings were stained with gold leaves and laquer finished.

This tall Blue & White vase with birds flying in Spring was probably made during the Ming dynasty.

I bet Elton John would love to lay his fingers on this old fashioned piano keys. The grand piano stood majestically by the broad staircase.

I must salute and offer my highest compliments to Mr Peter Soon, a well known Peranakan and architect who had invested over 4 million ringgit to repair, repaint and restore this old mansion, where he also brought in all the finest and rare Chinese, Straits Baba-Nyonya & Western antique collections to display them all under 1 roof. He has brought back the glory and grandeur back again to this place. The entrance token fee is only RM10!!!!!!

I will be going there again and again. Join me!

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever.


  1. Waited so long.. quick quick put in the content lar..
    What kind of antique...
    Terracotta army?
    The lost holy grail?
    Kapitan Chung Kee Kwee.. ? Sound like those Hai San or Ghee Hin Secret Society leader.. Hakka fighting Cantonese, Hokkien, Teowchew, Hainan and Foochow kind of era.

  2. Kenlin, woi nanti lah... My blogs use so many photos and need to resize them 1 by 1. This man was really a Hai San triad leader of Hakka clan.

  3. The next time I visit Penang please bring me there.

  4. Bruce - Please pay me deposit upfront to bring you there.

  5. Hi. My name is Jeffery Seow and I wrote the Wiki on Chung Keng Quee and Chung Thye Phin. I am their great grandson and grandson respectively. Would love to get in touch with the Children etc of Jimmy Chung to share info - have been researching and building my family tree since 1998. Appreciate the help.