The storied house of Royal Selangor Celebrates 130 Years with the debut of the 8515 Collection. Ong Chin Huat takes a closer look at the beauty of pewter in this stunning collection.
Royal Selangor commemorates their 130th Anniversary this year with the introduction of the 8515 collection, an amalgam of the numbers 85 because Royal Selangor was founded in 1885, and 15 because this year, 2015, marks the 130th anniversary. The 8515 collection celebrates the story of quality, craftsmanship and design, which have become synonymous with the brand since its inception.
The design team drew inspiration for the 8515 collection from the various artefacts at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre Museum. The collection breathes new life to these priceless artefacts and classic designs, a testament to the versatility and longevity of pewter. The 8515 collection comprises of a tankard (with a lid), tea caddy, tea set (1 teapot, 6 teacups and 1 tray) and photo frames in three sizes. Each piece is carefully hand finished by skilled pewter smiths and features a richly dimpled surface – a contemporary take on the hammered finish favoured by founder Yong Koon more than a century ago.
“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,” said Yong Yoon Li, Executive Director of Royal Selangor International.
Yong Koon sailed from the port of Shantou to Kuala Lumpur in 1885 and operated his business making simple pewter household items from his shop on No. 23 Cross Street. Employing a few other craftsmen, Yong Koon was among the first pewter smiths in Kuala Lumpur.
When demand for traditional ceremonial pewter ware was on a decline during the economic depression in the 1930s, Yong Koon and his sons started making European style products for the British and other expatriates. This was an important turning point for the business and laid the foundation for an export market in future years.
Today, Royal Selangor has stores and distributors in major cities worldwide including Shanghai, London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Melbourne and Tokyo.
The 8515 collection is a tribute to the time-honed skills, entrepreneurial spirit and values passed down from Yong Koon more than 100 years ago. Each item features rows of tiny impressions and dimples, methodically hammered into a pattern to promote aesthetic values while showcasing a modern touch on the various artefacts.
“It’s important that we pay homage to pioneering designs, most of which have stood the test of time. It is truly remarkable that these designs still look very desirable and relevant to this day,” added Yoon Li.
The 8515 collection is available at any Royal Selangor retail store, authorised dealers and online at royalselangor.com.