Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Home: Old-fashioned enamelware (and where to get them)

Photo courtesy of a friend, C, taken at Hock Eng Hin in Tiong Bahru.

I remember my mum and grandma used to use these old fashioned enamelware plates for food, however most of them were thrown out since the plates tend to rust once they are chipped. Recently, I fell in love with these enamelware, and decided to get some for our home for display or storage. We went hunting in Penang for those, and only managed to score some cups at random kitchenware shops. 

Those with paintings of flowers are especially lovely, but they were really hard to find. We found some at an antique shop in Penang which specialises in selling kitchenware, however, they were really expensive (40 RM for a small plate, of which most were chipped!) and we didn't get any.

So I went for a hunt in Singapore, and friends said that a general store in Ang Mo Kio Central next to the playground near Jubilee Square had them. We went down to the store, only to find that all they had was this:

I half-considered getting it to use as a kitchen dustbin, but the hubby said I was mad! The shop owner said that they stopped bringing enamelware in as the factory in China has stopped producing them. So the hunt went on. There were some selling online, but they cost $50 for 3 plates! Then a friend spotted some enamelware when she was at Tiong Bahru, and snapped some photos to show me:

Photo courtesy of a friend, C, at Hock Eng Hin at Tiong Bahru. 

So we trooped down one day to check it out. The shop is named Hock Eng Hin, and is found along Seng Poh Road. It's opposite the market and near the multi-storey carpark. It stocks quite abit of enamelware, but many of the plates with flowers on them were chipped. So I took some time to dig through the pile to find plates in better condition. I really loved the tiny white mugs with flowers, but those were out of stock, and there were only the medium-sized ones left.

What we managed to buy from Tiong Bahru.

So now we're using the cups to hold art supplies and random items, while I've put up some of the plates on display in the kitchen. I love the pop of colour against our yellow wall!

I'm still hunting for more pieces for a possible project in the future. Do any of you also collect/use enamelware? Would you know where to go to get them, where they are not sold at antique shop prices?


  1. Love love love how the colours pop out on your cheery yellow wall!!

  2. thanks for this.. I really love enamelware too! But you are right, they can be so ex sometimes :/

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  3. How did you stick em up (haha stick em up) on your wall Jus? We love these too!!! Glad you managed to find the shop!! In the back alley the uncle displays his window grilles for sale. Really lovely but gulp the price tag!

  4. I happened to be reading your blog and after that, saw this posting for enamelware on Craigslist.

  5. There is 1 shop at Blk 4 Sago lane (opp hawker center) selling these shop name Hai Seng

  6. Superb. V v nice 👌👌👌. I think you can get these in Bangkok. There's a local shopping Pl near an abandoned rail track. Can't remember the name. U can Google.

  7. L.T. Tan knows there is a shop in tiong bahru market selling traditional enamel ware address is
    shop at 1st storey #01-08 near the uob atm machine.

  8. check out Hai Seng at 4 Sago Lane. They also have an fb page.



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