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Notes on the Geography of Great Mirror: Photo 31

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This is the freshly (and privately) restored Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, completed in 1904. Cheong Fatt Tze made a fortune in Java in the 1850s, then developed steamship lines in Southeast Asia and railways in China. For a time, he was Chinese Consul-General in Singapore. This was one of his many houses and was built for his seventh wife. Despite its traditional appearance and careful attention to feng shui, it is much more European than it seems: the balustrades and columns of the interior courtyard are of Glasgow iron, and the beams that appear to be teak are actually steel, painted. Interior photography is prohibited by the owners, who run a bed-and-breakfast in the flanking wings.

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