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Teapot
Place of Origin: China, for the Thai market
Date: approx. 1825-1900
Materials: Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration and gold; handle: wood and metal
Dimensions: H. 15 /12 inx W. 12 1/4 in x D. 8 in, H. 39.4 cm x W. 31.1 cm x D. 20.3 cm
Credit Line: Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: 2006.27.97.a-.b
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Large teapots such this were favored as pious gifts to temples, where they could be used to serve tea to groups of monks.
The white elephant motif seen on this teapot is rare. The elephant carries a double-tiered container (which resembles 2006.27.106 in the collection) supporting a Chinese artist's version of a Thai royal crown. In Siam the white elephant symbolized the power of the king and was considered an auspicious symbol of the kingdom.

Several similar teapots with the white elephant and crown motif have been found in Cambodia. One possibility is that they were made on order for the Cambodian royal court (for which the white elephant and crown would have had the same significance as for the Siamese court). Another possibility is that they were ordered by Rama IV (aka Mongkut; reigned 1851-1868) or Rama V (aka Chulalongkorn; reigned 1868-1910) and sent as gifts to monasteries in Cambodia.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

Large teapots such this were favored as pious gifts to temples, where they could be used to serve tea to groups of monks.
The white elephant motif seen on this teapot is rare. The elephant carries a double-tiered container (which resembles 2006.27.106 in the collection) supporting a Chinese artist's version of a Thai royal crown. In Siam the white elephant symbolized the power of the king and was considered an auspicious symbol of the kingdom.

Several similar teapots with the white elephant and crown motif have been found in Cambodia. One possibility is that they were made on order for the Cambodian royal court (for which the white elephant and crown would have had the same significance as for the Siamese court). Another possibility is that they were ordered by Rama IV (aka Mongkut; reigned 1851-1868) or Rama V (aka Chulalongkorn; reigned 1868-1910) and sent as gifts to monasteries in Cambodia.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010