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High Glass Collector

by KT Leong

Joshua Arulselvan (65) has been collecting glasses since he was a kid. Long before the days of the internet, this Ipoh-boy used to read books while in bed, and he would have a drink by his bed to refresh himself.

One day, after he had finished his drink, he went to place the glass under the bed to be cleaned later. Only to hear a “clink”. He looked down and saw that he already had four or five glasses under his bed. They were Milo glasses of different designs, which came as free gifts with the product.

From there, his lifelong journey as a collector began. From the early days when he still lived in Ipoh, through the days he left Ipoh for work until now as he’s returned to his hometown.

Through the years, he has amassed a collection of over one thousand glasses, each individually distinct from the others, as unlike some collectors, he only collected individual glasses by distinct design, not sets.

Some of these glasses have stories to tell as well, for example, the one labelled Casillero del Diablo, which through his research, he found that it meant the “Devil’s Domain”.

The story goes that over a hundred years ago, the founder of the winery, Don Melchor Concha y Toro, hid his best wines in a secret personal cellar. But over time, he noticed that the bottles would go missing and suspected that his wines were being stolen by the townspeople. To stop the thefts, he spread a rumour that his cellar was being haunted by the devil, which eventually lead to the Chilean wine known as Casillero del Diablo.

Not every glass in Mr. Arulselvan’s collection had such a dramatic story of course. Many were simply gifted to him, and as he was a collector of unique glasses and not the sets they came from, he has gifted many of them to others as well. He even drinks from the glasses, rather than letting them simply sit around   unused.

Those interested to know more about Mr. Arulselvan’s huge collection of glasses can get in touch with him at 012-2755278.

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