Committing to its annual corporate social responsibility project, Henkel Malaysia (Ipoh) recently donated tin ingots of archaeological value to Han Chin Pet Soo (two pieces), Lost World of Tambun (two pieces) and Perak Museum (one piece) to be displayed for locals and tourists alike.
The tin ingots are shaped like the shell of a tortoise and each weighs around 17kg. Although estimated to be around 168 years old, they do not show signs of wear and tear.
Jason Lee, General Manager of Adhesives Electronics Operations said, “Tin mining and tin ingots are part of Ipoh’s rich history and heritage. These artefacts were stored in our display cabinet in the plant for years but few people understand their significance. We want to share this with the public to educate them and contribute to the preservation of this part of our history”.
“The wonderful response from the recipients helped me wanting to do more,” he added.
The tin ingots came into Henkel’s possession 36 years ago, when Henkel Malaysia acquired the manufacturing plant in Ipoh for solders and solder pastes. At first glance, the tin ingots look like normal stones. Recognising their historical value, Jason arranged for the donation of the artefacts to institutions and museums which would appreciate them.
In the 19th century, tin ore was cast into a wide variety of shapes as finished products. Back then in Malaya, most of the tin ingots were cast in Perak. Animal shaped tin ingots were particularly popular at that time with one of the favourites being the shape of a tortoise.
Tin ingots representing animals were produced only for special occasions. Tortoise-shaped ingots had a sacred or magic significance and, for that reason, had been cast with special care and were particularly very pure in tin content.