Asian Antiques by Silk Road
Carved Teak Roof Ornament from North Thailand

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Carved Teak Roof Ornament from North Thailand
The gaelae roof ornament of the Thai Lanna people is an exotic North Thailand sight when seen silhouetted against the sky. Gaelae (also galae) originally were extensions of roof beams crossed in V-shape at the ends of steep peaked roofs on Thai Lanna structures. More recently they are made as separate carvings and attached to the roof peaks. Explanations about the origins of these unusual pieces vary; one is that they were meant to discourage large birds from landing on the roofs, and so they sometimes are referred to as “glancing crows” or “glancing pigeons.” Another theory is that they represented buffalo horns, a symbol of wealth. This gaelae is about 20 years old and in very good condition. The two long carved teak wood pieces are attached to a pivot in the center triangle so they can be folded for storage or spread like wings for display. The sinuous soaring form makes an interesting wall decoration. Dimensions: height 16” (41 cm), width at top 15” (38 cm), width at bottom 10” (25.5 cm), depth 1” (2.5 cm).

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