So, here we are again with the #asianpostseries. We keep talking about Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. Let’s start with an excerpt from the book about:
“A historical overview of style.
Thailand could well be described as a crossroads of Southeast Asian civilizations. Her geographical and political situation has allowed her to bring together a great diversity of schools of art. These can be set in two broad periods: one extends from the beginning of Indianization in the 1st century AD to the first Thai kingdoms in the 13th century; the other begins from that date and runs on the present. In the first period, Thailand received a great deal from beyond her borders, her role being an intermediary absorbing and diffusing these influences from and to other kingdoms; then, little by little, she developed her own form of art. The religious background is summed up remarkably well in these few lines written by Professor Jean Boisselier: ‘Despite the complexities of political history, one can accept that the dominant trait of Thailand is her fidelity to the Buddhist faith, which provides continuity, a constant link binding together the most diverse tendencies in the course of the centuries’“.
The ancient art house’s collection contains a number of sculptures which can be categorized according to the chronology of seven schools proposed by H.R.H. Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, founder of Thai archaeology: Dvaravati (7-11th C.), Srivijaya (8-13th C.), Lopburi (7-14th C.), Sukhothai (13-15th C.), Lan Na (13-20th C.), Ayutthaya (14-18th C.), Bangkok (18-20th C.).
In the gallery below are showed some pieces of gold ancient art by the Jim Thompson’s collection.
1. Gold votive plaque, 15th-16th century. This plaque shows the Buddha together with two attendants seated under sacred bodhi tree.
2. On the right: this votive plaque is in the Si-Tep School and dates back to the 8th-9th century. This piece contains a Sanskrit inscription and was found in Petchaboon province.
On the left: Gold votive plaque, Si-Tep School (8th-9th century). The figure depicted here is the Bodhisattva Maitreya.
3. This gold votive plaque depicts a walking Buddha with the distinctive Sukhothai features. Sukhothai School, 14th to 15th century.
In our next post about Jim Thompson House, I will explore the contemporary part of this big company: the thai silk of the renowned Jim Thompson fashion brand.