Divine Confluence: The Gathering of Angels
The portrayal of deities and celestial beings has been an enduring tradition across various art forms in Thai culture.
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The portrayal of deities and celestial beings has been an enduring tradition across various art forms in Thai culture. Often depicted along them are renditions of Lord Buddha, attending to his teachings with devotion, woven into the verses of celestial gatherings. These verses originated from the chants of “Prit” (Buddhist hymns), a practice that emerged long ago. The first occurrence was in the region of Lanka, around 500 B.E., among the people who embraced Buddhism at that time. Seeking blessings and auspiciousness, the Lankan monks devised the chanting of “Prit” to be recited before the main chants. Preceding the chanting, invocations to celestial beings residing in the celestial realm and various locations were made to gather and prevent any impending dangers ensuring that those who chanted would remain untouched within the sphere of protection, spanning the boundaries and environs of the devotees’ homes.
In this Timed Auction, RCB Auctions has curated a selection of exquisite Thai artworks for all collectors to appreciate. Among these treasures is a mosaic of celestial beings delicately painted onto ceramic tiles, showcasing a remarkable technique of gilding with subtle gold accents upon a pristine white background. The celestial figures are rendered in five distinct hues, each representing a different aspect. These color variations stem from the belief in the auspiciousness of the Nine Celestial Deities, regarded as protectors of human destinies. The legend finds its origin in Hindu astrology, venerating the sun and its eight attending deities.
In the Hue of crimson, according to the legend, Lord Shiva ground six royal lions into a powder, wrapped them in crimson cloth soaked with the essence of elixir, giving birth to the Lord Surya (Sun), radiating a red brilliance.
In the color of White, as the tale goes, Lord Siva crafted himself from the essence of 15 celestial nymphs, grinding them into a fine powder and enshrouding them with soft white fabric imbued with the essence of elixir, resulting in a handsome male form, embodying the luminescence of pure white.
In the shade of green, the legend recounts that Lord Siva cast a spell that transformed 17 Brahmin scholars into a powder, wrapped in verdant leaf-green cloth and draped in fabric drenched with the essence of elixir, birthing Lord Buddha (Mercury), adorned with the color of jade.
In the hue of saffron yellow, the narrative unfolds that Lord Siva fashioned himself from the essence of 19 ascentics, pulverizing them into a powder and encasing them in cloth dyed with a deep orange-red hue, adorned with fabric immerse in the essence of elixir, becoming Brihaspati (Jupiter), adorned in the shade of saffron orange.
In the ebony hue, according to the legend, Lord Siva forged himself from 10 tigers, grinding them into powder and wrapping them in ebony-black cloth soaked with the essence of elixir, manifesting as Lord Sani (Saturn), bearing a body as dark as the night.
Hence, the celestial assembly becomes yet another intricate Thai motif, brimming with enchantment, akin to a mirror reflecting the preciousness of beliefs, echoing the richness of Thai art, culture, and traditions that eloquently narrated through the canvas of glazed ceramic tiles.
A polychrome porcelain saucer painted and gilt with deities design
Style: Thai, Rattanakosin
Dimensions: W 14 cm H 3 cm
Circa: 20th Century
Estimated Price: 5,000 – 7,000 THB
Starting Price: 3,000 THB