KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 –His interest in antiques began since he was young, having been surrounded and exposed to items of historical value and with a story of their own which belonged to his father, uncle and grandfather. Since then, Heddy MN, 45, whose favorite subject in school was history, is determined to have his own collection of antiques because of their aesthetic value.
Old magazines and posters from the land of the rising sun are among his first antique collection, which he bought while still studying at a university, and collecting old items soon became a habit that he has now amassed more than 30,000 pieces of antique items, estimated to be worth millions of ringgit.
These priceless items , which are not only obtained locally, but also from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Portugal andJapan, are properly kept at a special place in his shop and home.
“One of the valuable antique collections I have is a jar with a lid of the Nyonya Peranakan as it is believed to belong to a Chinese captain from the 1860s.
“I also have a collection of copper and bronze items from China from the Han Dynasty, believed to be from 206 BC to 220 BC,” he told Bernama when met at his gallery, Kota Pinang Enterprise, in Pasar Seni here recently.
The Melaka-born Heddy said he also owned about 250 coin boxes from the 1950s to the late 1970s that were issued by various banking institutions, including Chung Khiaw Bank, OCBC, Malayan Banking and United Malayan Banking Corporation.
“These coin boxes are of limited edition and they are in the shape of animals such as chicken, rhinoceros, elephant and bear to attract children to save,” he said, adding that what is unique about the coin boxes is that they are mostly made from a mixture of iron, tin and copper.
Heddy, who was in the finance industry for two decades, said he is hoping to make the present young generation aware of the old coin boxes by producing a coffee-table book which will be ready early next year.
The book will serve as a reference material on old coin boxes that were issued by the banking institution in the country, he added.
Heddy also owns a collection of six sets of cups and saucers with the old Malaysia Airlines (MAS) logo from 1972, as well as a limited edition chess set of Looney Tunes from Warner Bros from the late 1980s.
According to him, through his hobby of collecting antiques, he is able to help preserve the uniqueness of the old items, as well as protect the country’s treasures from being taken away to other countries.
Heddy said there had been offers from foreigners to purchase the Nyonya Perakan jar.
“The price offered was very lucrative, but I did not want to part with it because it is a priceless treasure. I do want to sell my antique collections, but not to outsiders,” he added.