Suma Orientalis, is an amalgamation of two words. The first word ‘Suma’ refers to a “Flower’ in Sanskrit, and the second word ‘Orientalis’ means ‘Land in the East’ in Latin. Hence Suma Orientalis means ‘FLOWER OF THE EAST.’
The name Suma Orientalis was formally adopted from a Codex named ‘SUMA ORIENTAL’ written by Tome Pires. Tome Pires was an Apothecary to a Prince from Lisbon who was assigned by their King to be their Scrivener, Accountant of the factory and Comptroller of the Drugs in Malacca, thence the cradle of Southeast Asian trade linking the West to the Far East which the Portuguese fleet capture in the 14th Century.
The word ‘Suma’ in Pires account means ‘Short‘ in Portuguese and ‘the word ‘Oriental’ means ‘the Orient’ or ‘Lands in the Far East’. Interpretively, it was taken to mean ‘A Short Account of the Orient’. It is by far the earliest account of the East and the first European description of MALASIA written from 1512-1515.
This Codex was unpublished and was lost for four hundred years until a Mr Cortesoa discovered it in 1937 and had them translated for the Hakult Society in 1944.
Pires was careful to investigate the accuracy of the information collected from merchants, sailors and others with whom he was in contact with and it showed him to be a keen observer far superior than any other Portuguese writers of his time. Pires passed away in 1540.
“ALL ABOUT ASIAN ART”
Kris Lee is the Artistic Director of the company. He is an Arts Appraiser registered with the International Society of Appraisers, USA. His field of specialty includes Southeast Asian Fine Arts, Antiques as well as Chinese Ceramics. He is also a trained Art Auctioneer, having graduated from Missouri Auction School, USA.
Sophia Shung is the Company’s Executive Director. She is a Fine Arts Appraiser and a member of the International Society of Appraisers, USA since 2015. She is also an Art Auctioneer trained in Missouri Auction School, USA. Her early training was in Persuasive Communications, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Sophia is an active member of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Young Entrepreneur Section and a member of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society KL Chapter. She is also a Certified Financial Planner dealing with Art and General Insurance.