The Art and Orchid GalleryThe Art and Orchid Gallery
Antique Benjarong Porcelain Funerary Urn, Thai

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All Items: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Ceramics: Pre 1920: item # 1173010

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Antique Benjarong Porcelain Funerary Urn, Thai
The Art and Orchid Gallery's cinerary, or funerary, urn with cover is made of a very translucent porcelain.(see photos) Even with its interior brown stained crackle glaze and fine enamel colors over glazed exterior, one can easily pass light through the urn. It was probably made in South China for export to Siam ( now Thailand). This may have been as early as 1775 based on referenced colors, particularly the red ground for the Siamese Buddhist deities.[198A] The major ornamentation is alternating Siamese Buddhistic deities: Tephanon ( or Taypanon) with praying hands; and Norassing, depicted as half man and half horse (or lion) . They are shown in red roundels and embellished with yellow crowns and jewelry. The same figures can be found on other antique Siamese cinerary urns. [199B, 73C] A more recent reference (2009) claims a similarly shaped covered urn, done in floral motifs of 1775-1875 age, to be used for Thai soups and syrups.[198D] Our urn with Buddhist divinity figures surrounded by flamed enamel decoration is appropriate to the Buddhistic practice of holding ashes of the deceased. In earlier times, the Chinese used reliquaries for ashes of the deceased.[112E] The vessels probably developed from 'soul urns' known from the Eastern Zhou Period (770-256 B.C.) which look like bowls with small houses as covers.[112F] Our antique funerary urn, like others, has a tiered pagoda-style finial on the lid. A copper alloy ring encircles each rung of the pagoda finial, the lid rim, the top of the urn and the foot of this vessel. These copper alloy rings prevent chipping of the porcelain edges, explaining why this antique is in such good condition. References available upon request. Size: ~ 5 1/2" H x 4 1/4"; Weight: 303 grams;

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