Eight new state gifts on display at Istana gallery

1. Ceremonial water kettle
1. Ceremonial water kettle
2. Golden chalice
2. Golden chalice
3. Silver horse and buggy cart
3. Silver horse and buggy cart
4. Patung kepeng (Old coin statue)
4. Patung kepeng (Old coin statue)
5. Cast-iron figurine
5. Cast-iron figurine
6. Oval silver container
6. Oval silver container
7. Sterling cigarette box
7. Sterling cigarette box
8. Yerba mate tea cup and bombilla straw
8. Yerba mate tea cup and bombilla straw

Eight new items given by foreign leaders to Singapore's presidents and prime ministers can now be viewed at the Istana Heritage Gallery.

The eight state gifts, which include a golden chalice from Russia and an oval silver container from Egypt, are part of a permanent exhibition in the gallery opened by President Tony Tan Keng Yam last October.

The public gallery is located opposite the Istana, in the Istana Park along Orchard Road.

It "offers visitors a glimpse into the history and heritage of the Istana through a specially curated range of heritage displays, including state artefacts, artwork and state gifts received from foreign dignitaries by our past and present presidents and prime ministers", said the Istana in a statement yesterday.

The new series of gifts replaces eight previously unveiled gifts in the original collection of 18 state gifts.

Charissa Yong

1. Ceremonial water kettle

Gifted by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to President Tony Tan Keng Yam in February 2014.

2. Golden chalice

Gifted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to President S R Nathan in November 2009. The Russian president's state visit was the first to Singapore by a Russian head of state.

3. Silver horse and buggy cart

Gifted by Malta President Agatha Barbara to President Wee Kim Wee in February 1986.

4. Patung kepeng (Old coin statue)

Gifted by Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2013.

5. Cast-iron figurine

Gifted by Burkina Faso Prime Minister Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in August 2014.

6. Oval silver container

Gifted by Egypt Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in April 1997.

7. Sterling cigarette box

Gifted by Jordan's King Hussein Ibn Talal to Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in September 1983.

8. Yerba mate tea cup and bombilla straw

Gifted by Chile President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in October 1998.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Eight new state gifts on display at Istana gallery'. Print Edition | Subscribe