CRAFT BAZAAR cel­e­brates 130 years of Royal Se­lan­gor with a look back at the de­sign house from in­cep­tion to leg­end. By Sharmita Sum­mugam.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture Bazaar -

FRoyal Se­lan­gor fac­tory on Pudu Road in the 1950s rom one gen­er­a­tion to an­other, Royal Se­lan­gor has made its mark and stood the test of time. To­day, this mag­nif­i­cent house of all things pewter cel­e­brates its 130th an­niver­sary. “When my great grand­fa­ther started his pewter busi­ness in 1885, I don’t think any­one en­vi­sioned that in 130 years, the brand would go on to have over 300 crafts­men and col­lab­o­rate with in­ter­na­tional award-win­ning de­sign­ers,” says Yong Yoon Li, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Royal Se­lan­gor In­ter­na­tional.

It all be­gan when Yong Koon, the founder, sailed all the way from the port of Shan­tou to Kuala Lumpur in 1885. He was among the first pewter smiths in KL hav­ing opened up shop at No. 23 Cross Street. With a few other crafts­men, he was in the busi­ness of mak­ing sim­ple yet clas­sic pewter items for the home. As time wore on, Koon evolved with the era in terms of his de­sign aes­thetics. The 1930s brought eco­nomic de­pres­sion and the en­tire fam­ily moved their shop to Pudu Road, where they be­gan a new chap­ter of Malayan Pewter Works. With the state of the coun­try and hard times in mind, Koon rev­o­lu­tionised his pewter de­signs by cre­at­ing Euro­pean-styled prod­ucts for Bri­tish ex­pa­tri­ates, thus cre­at­ing a new mar­ket for his prod­ucts.

By the end of the ’30s, his sons – Peng Pow, Peng Kai, Peng Seong, and Peng Sin – cre­ated three other pewter com­pa­nies: Tiger Pewter, Se­lan­gor Pewter, and Lion Pewter. As we know, only Se­lan­gor Pewter sur­vived the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of an un­pre­dictable eco­nomic state and grew to pros­per into what it is to­day.

To com­mem­o­rate 130 years of beau­ti­ful pewter de­signs, Royal Se­lan­gor presents ents the 8515 col­lec­tion, a cel­e­bra­tion of the brand’s her­itage, de­sign, and crafts­man­ship sin­ceince its in­cep­tion in 1885. With stores all over the world from Hong Kong to Ger­manyny to Ja­pan and Australia, Royal Se­lan­gor con­tin­ues to flour­ish. To­day, it boasts over 250 highly skilled crafts­peo­ple work­ing to­gether, mak­ing it the world’s largest pewter fac­tory. True to form, Royal Se­lan­gor main­tains its de­sign-savvy wayss by al­ways keep­ing ahead of the curve with ith mod­ern yet time­less de­signs.

Mak­ing tea cad­dies The 8515 col­lec­tion fea­tures a pat­tern of tiny im­pres­sions

Orig­i­nal ‘ Melon’ teapot

8515 tea set, Royal Se­lan­gor

The next gen­er­a­tion: Chen Tien Yue and Yong Yoon Li head up Royal Se­lan­gor

Yong Koon,

1920

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