Pair of Large Silver Temple Bowls
diameter: 25.5cm, height: 15.8cm, combined weight: 2,255g
This pair of silver bowls are matching in every way. Both are repoussed and chased with nat spirits, demons and other figures from Burmese folklore. The
lower border comprises a double row of upturned lotus petals, known as the
kya-hlan motif. The upper border, much wider, comprises a scrolling orchid
design known as the
The form of the bowls precisely follows that of monks’ alms begging bowls.
The interiors of both have an intact gold wash but with a beautiful patina.
The relief work is not as exuberant and distended as on pieces produced mainly for the export and colonial market. This pair appear to have been produced
for local use and as such seem more traditional and restrained, and most probably are earlier than the more frequently encountered Burmese silver bowls in high relief.
It seems likely that these bowls were made to be used on an altar before a Buddha image. The gilded interiors suggest that they were meant to hold water and thus flowers and would have stood to either side of the image.
Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1249