This pair of dancing figures – possibly Burmese nats (supernatural figures from the Burmese Buddhist cosmology) – are of carved wood, that has been decorated with relief-moulded lacquer and gilded.
Both have been modelled in dynamic and energetic poses. One, with the spired headdress, wears the robes of a prince and might be the Gold Nawrahta nat. He was a prince of Awa who was thrown into the Irrawaddy River in 150s, and drowned.
There is a pantheon of 37 nats. Burmese woodcarvers produced figures of nats specifically to be placed on pagoda platforms and other places of worship.
Each is in a fine, stable condition and is highly decorative.
Each is supported on a custom-made, black metal stand completed to a high specification.
Falconer, J. et al, Myanmar Style: Art, Architecture and Design of Burma, Thames & Hudson, 1998.