Intricately Embossed Silver Alms Lid Featuring Deities from Thai Literature Interwoven with Vine Motifs

The alms bowl, an essential vessel for holding food, is an iconic item for Buddhist monks and novices. For devout Buddhists, the sight of an alms bowl is deeply familiar and significant. It is one of the “Attha Borikhan”, or the ‘Eight Necessities of a Buddhist monk’, which are the core necessities prescribed in the monastic disciple (Vinaya). These eight necessities include the lower robe, the upper robe (Uttarāsaṅga), the outer robe (Sanghati), a belt, the alms bowl, a razor or nail clippers, a needle, and a water filter.

Click here for Thai.

Similar to other ancient utensils, alms bowls have undergone a variety of design and material innovations over time. Traditionally, alms bowls are categorized into two primary types: those made from clay, referred to as ‘earthenware bowls’, and those made from iron and subsequently smoked, known as ‘smoked iron bowls’. The lids of these bowls are crafted from lightweight materials to facilitate ease of handling, such as wood, brass, and silver. In contemporary practice, plastic has also been utilized for the fabrication of alms bowl lids, reflecting an integration of traditional and modern materials.

In the upcoming Timed Auction hosted by RCB Auctions, a stunning silver alms bowl lid, Lot 90, is set to captivate the audience with its exquisite and enchanting design. This remarkable piece features intricate embossed patterns depicting characters from Thai literature, showcasing a divine tableau of male and female deities gracefully dancing amidst a backdrop of intertwined vines. The meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail exemplify the proud heritage of Thai artisans, whose skills have been celebrated since ancient times.


Lot 90
A silver cover finely carved in relief scene from Ramayana epic alternating with floral vine scrolls (1 pc.)
Style: Thai, Rattanakosin
Dimensions: W 20 cm H 4 cm weight 300 gram
Circa: 20th Century
Estimated Price: 25,000 - 30,000 THB
Starting Price: 12,000 THB