(Thailand – )
20 cm diam.
This bowl, decorated on the inside and outside, is a particularly fine example of Bencharong (literally "five colours") ware, the most esteemed of later Thai ceramics. It is, in fact, Chinese porcelain decorated to Thai taste in the bright enamel glazes that the Chinese mastered technically in the eighteenth century. This bowl is decorated with alternating images of 'thepanom' and 'norasingh', both minor Buddhist deities belonging to the Theravada school of Buddhism. Typically the 'thepanom' (celestial beings who live in one of the six lower Buddhist heavens) sit cross-legged in a praying posture, nude except for a petalled collar, bracelets and crown. While the 'norasingh', believed to reside in the mythical Himaphan forest in the Himalayan mountains, has a human head, the hindquarters of a lion with a flame-tipped tail, and the hoofs of a deer.
'Asian Art', AGNSW Collections, 1994, pg. 183.
Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'South-East Asian Art', pg. 83-96, Sydney, 1990, 93 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 183 (colour illus.).