Royal Selangor’s heritage Melon collection draws inspiration from a storied teapot, a late 19th century piece bearing the Yuhe Zuxi hallmark of founder Yong Koon. Whilst its lobed melon form is not unique, being quite common in the craft tradition of world cultures, it is the exquisite proportions, subtle detailing and naturalistic charm of Yong Koon’s version that transcends the humble nature of the archetype, and informs our contemporary collection.
Yong Koon’s original teapot, the only example from that period to have survived in near impeccable condition, occupies pride of place in our Visitor Centre’s museum in Kuala Lumpur, on view to all who visit us.
Clearly pumpkin-shaped, melon borrows from the Chinese term for pumpkin nangua, literally southern melon. Yong Koon would have known the shape (and vegetable) as such. In fact, the word pumpkin itself is traceable to pepon, Greek for ‘large melon’.