Burmese silver bowl

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 69.44.1
Type: object for daily use; metalwork
Date of production:
19th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: silver, repoussé, engraved, openwork
Dimensions: 15. 8 cm
Silver bowl (thabeik) with convex sides and dense ornamental decoration. The narrative scene, set against a floral background, depicts Burmese men either riding elephants or horses or on foot, dressed in courtly attire. The engraving at the bottom of the bowl, with its dancing peacock (ka-daung) motif, was the emblem of the Konbaung dynasty (1752-1885) and later a symbol of national resistance. It is assumed that the object in question is the work of a master craftsman/workshop associated with the Burmese royal court.
The Burmese silversmiths of the period were notable for their bowls of varying size and design, which were essentially decorative in function, and whose visual narrative usually depicted stories from Burmese folklore and Buddhist yatakas.