A Dynastic Heirloom of Immortal Beauty
Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn, born Num Vasudhara, was the director of the Royal Treasury Division during the reign of King Rama VI, and the progenitor of the Vasudhara family line. A well-respected collector of antiques, Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn’s collection of Buddhist votive tablets was of particular renown among his contemporaries.
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In fact, the prevailing design of these tablets, favored by collectors of the time, was codified by the Sangharaja of Suthat Thepwararam Temple (the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand), who fashioned his line of votive tablets after a large Chinese Buddha figure of Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn’s that had struck his fancy.
Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn’s votive tablets represent but a sliver of an antiques collection of a range, value and rarity that has been exalted to near mythic status by succeeding generations of collectors. The objects within Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn’s trove all carry an inscription of the family emblem, as can be identified on the rump of this silver tea tray, which proudly bears the letters of the “Vasudhara” surname. Yet the consummate craftsmanship and the intricacy of the design alone would distinguish this artifact as one fit to grace Phraya Supakorn Bannasarn’s trove of treasures. Its beautiful finish– behold, sides garlanded with auspicious motifs framed by lotus-leaf shaped panels– is owed to the repousse technique: a metalworking method that uses hammers and punches to raise designs in low relief from the inner surface of a metal object. There’s no doubt about it– this pedigreed specimen from the Vasudhara dynasty’s vault will be the crowning asset of any connoisseur’s collection.
Reference: Ajarn Thanaphan Khajornphan
Lot 27: A carved and repousse’ silver tray decorated in relief with precious objects and Thai characters “Vasudhara”
W 30 cm H 7 cm
Circa: Early 20th Century
Style: Thai, Rattanakosin