Royal Selangor Pewter Factory is an iconic Malaysian Brand known for its handcrafted Pewter products. With a history dating back to late 19th CE. Today, they have an elaborate visitor center. That presents a glimpse of the history, product range, exquisite products, techniques and methods used in the factory. Along with a shopping center to buy these products. This is a story of a small business started by a single man that goes on to become a global brand. Pewter is an alloy that primarily consists of Tin that was found in abundance in and around Kuala Lumpur. And actually brought the first communities to this land.
Royal Selangor Pewter – Handcrafted Products.
We entered this well-designed center on a day when it was raining heavily. It was nearly impossible to hear what the guide was telling us, so it became more of a visual tour. The visit begins with a dose of history beginning with Yong Koon. The man who set this up in 1885, methods and techniques he used. And the first pieces he crafted. Old photographs interspersed with pewter frames tell the story of this family-owned business that also owns brands like Selberan and Comyns. There are earlier products like small animal figurines that were used as currency, the money trees and utensils for everyday use on display.
Pewter – Metal of Choice.
In fact, till ceramics became popular, Pewter was the metal of choice for household utility items. Iconic Twin towers of KL, made from pewter tumblers, stand across the floors. Walls are adorned with palm marks of the workers in the factory. Murals on walls of Royal Selangor Pewter Factory tell the story of iconic pieces from the collection. Like Four Gentlemen represented by four flowers, a melon shaped tea kettle that has a World War II story and the story of the Tankards. A small demo area showcases how the molds are prepared, how the surfaces are smoothened. How the designs are carved on them and how the final finishing touches are given. There are some prized pieces that have been designed by the organization like sports trophies and shields. They bring out the design element of the place.
There is a huge shopping area where you can buy the Pewter products or at least feast your eyes on them. There are photo frames, animal figurines, bookends and even paintings in pewter. Besides the usable items like utensils, vases, glasses, and jewelry. You are served some limewater in pewter glasses to experience the use of it. At the exit, you pass through exquisitely designed latticed frames that along with the play of light create an elegant ambiance.
Guinness World Record.
Outside the center stands a huge Tankard or a giant Beer Mug, of course in Pewter. That has the Guinness world record for being the biggest of its kind. Almost 2 meters in height with a capacity to hold 2800 liters of liquid in it. This was crafted to commemorate the 100 years of Royal Selangor. It is a favorite picture point today. You would see visitors queuing up around it get a shot of themselves with it.
I really enjoyed the visit to this museum cum workshop cum shopping space. And I am happy holding that bowl in my hand as I write this.
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