Monday, April 06, 2020

Ravensway & Co. Undertaker and Monumental Mason

Many hotels and European houses have dining halls paved with white marble. This article features one of the company that is the memorial stone or monumental stone business, Ravensway & Co. Established in 1881, Messrs. Ravenway & Co. Singapore branch was located at 187 Orchard Road and they had a large stock of monuments, tombstones and marble materials. A staff of 50 masons were employed and the marble used comes from Ipoh, Perak from quarries which employ over 250 staff. The products are then exported to Singapore, Penang, Sumatra, Java, India and other parts of the east.

Jacob Cornelius Von Ravensway, a Dutch came to Singapore late 1850's, early 1860. Before that he was in Sumatra was connected with the tobacco industry. He came to Singapore when he was about 40 years old and was involved in tin and rubber. In 1881, he established the firm of Messrs Ravensway and Co, Singapore at 187 Orchard Road and had about 40 or 50 staff employed. In 1909, Jacob Cornelis van Ravensway sold his business of an Undertaker and Monumental Mason, formerly carried out at No 187, Orchard Road to Victor L. Neubronner. He then went on to take management of the Ipoh Marble Works. He the took over the management of the Ipoh Marble Works until 1917. He passed away in February 1919 at his residence in Anderson Road, Ipoh and is buried in Ipoh Cemetery.

Directory and Chronicle 1909 

Ipoh Marble Works

Coined as the only Marble factory in Malaya, it supplied demand in this region and in India. J.C Ravenway took management of the plant in 1909 and sold it eventually in 1917. The marble factory passed hands to the Charted Bank (for $10000) in 1924.

Commissioned works of Ravensway & Co 

The legacy and works of Ravensway & Co can still be seen in many works that exist today. I will update this article if i find more.

Marble base of tombstone of Y. Shibuya (Japanese Cemetery, Singapore) 

Y.Shibuya's tomb at the Japanese cemetery in Singapore

Y.Shibuya's tomb 

Tomb of Mr. Tan Boon Chin (used to be at Bidadari), but now at the Garden of Remembrance, 920 Old Choa Chu Kang Road.
Marble base of the tomb of Tan Boon Chin 

Tomb of Tan Poh Choo in Bukit Brown 

From the altar table of Tan Poh Choo

Diamond Jubilee Plaque for Queen Victoria 1897 ( Melaka) 
Diamond Jubliee Plaque for Queen Victoria 1897 (Melaka) -closeup 

Bronze statue of  Queen Victoria with base marble (Thailand)

Band at the Gardens. (1904, February 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Death of Mr. Ravensway. (1919, February 19). The Singapore Free Press, page 9
Advertisement. (1909, August 28). The Singapore Free Press, page 2,_Fort_Canning_Green,_Singapore_-_20130401-03.jpg

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