The Taste of History on One's Fingertips

Puerp kao, to eat rice with one's hands, was an age-old Siamese dining custom, perhaps predating the kingdom itself. With the embroidering of Western traditions and values upon the Siamese cultural fabric in the early Rattanakosin era, spoons became a staple dining utensil, initially used communally like the serving spoons of today.

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In those days, spoons, like other everyday objects, were made from a variety of materials such as bronze, silver and pearl. As the national economy flourished, so did the local market for commissioned ceramic wares, leading to the enduring popularity of porcelain in Siamese material culture.

A class of porcelain with an ancient history, blue-and-white porcelain is a symbol of the tight-knit relationship between Siam and China that spanned the centuries between the Ayutthaya period and the reign of King Rama V, a period during which porcelain-making blossomed.

This set of blue-and-white porcelain spoons is adorned in the lai phum khao bin motif and trailing vines, a rare design that is more typically found in densely-packed patterns on benjarong spoons. Another noteworthy feature of this set of spoons is that they are larger than the conventional size of porcelain spoons. The lai phum khao bin motif, in which lotus buds are meticulously arranged into an alternating pattern, began gracing the surfaces of benjarong in the reign of King Rama II. It is often mentioned that artisans of antiquity drew inspiration for their designs from the library of organic forms and patterns in the natural world that surrounded them, codifying the beauty they observed in flowers, animals and vegetation with the technique and stylistic conventions of the artisanal tradition they belonged to. These early marks were recomposed by later generations of Siamese artisans and produced abroad at ateliers in China in what became a common practice of commissioned production that is unique to Siamese porcelain. These three porcelain spoons are the custodians of a rich cultural and artistic history, their exquisite vintage beauty captivating to behold.

Lot 746
A group of blue and white porcelain spoons painted with trellis and rice design with floral vine scrolls (3 pcs.)
Style: Thai, Rattanakosin
Dimensions: W 6 cm. H 17.5 cm.
Circa: 19th Century
Estimated Price: 25,000 - 30,000 THB
Starting Price: 4,000 THB