The skill and dedication required to make fine lacquer objects such as this had a natural parallel in Buddhist devotions. For this reason the utensils, furniture and fittings that adorned the more important and wealthy Buddhist temples were usually flamboyant objects that glittered with subtle reflections of mother-of-pearl. Elaborate trays like this were used in Buddhist ceremonies by the monks, who would place their robes on the upper pedestal before an image of the Buddha. A classic and uniquely Thai form, this receptacle is decorated with seated 'thepanom' - minor Buddhist deities - and floral-inspired ornamental motifs that echo the Buddhist decorative style. Thailand is renowned for its distinctive 'hoi fai', or flaming mother-of-pearl, made from the shell of the turbo snail that is indigenous to the Gulf of Thailand.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 300.
Place where the work was made
Rama III Period 1824 - 1851 → Thailand
black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
38.0 x 33.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–13 Mar 2016
Referenced in 5 publications
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: South-East Asia', pg. 298-301, Sydney, 1999, 300 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, Arts of Asia, 'New Dimensions', pg. 54-63, Hong Kong, Nov 2003-Dec 2003, 61 (colour illus.). no.17
Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 183 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 332 (colour illus.).
Treasures from the National Museum, Bangkok, Bangkok, 1987, 118 (illus.). comparative piece