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Treatise on Elephants
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Treatise on Elephants


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This manuscript is one of a group of manuscripts created during the first years of the Bangkok dynasty illustrating a traditional court treatise describing elephants. An official at the Thai court was responsible for the Department of Elephants, which maintained royal elephants, mostly albinos, as well as commissioning treatises. The treatise opens with a series of divine elephants with characteristics based largely on Hindu mythology (fols. 3-8). The next portion of the manuscript (fols. 9-52) depicts a profuse variety of natural elephants, shown on plain backgrounds or in forest settings displaying two elephants in profile on the upper half with text in the lower. The rest is unfinished but appears to follow the same layout. The text, yellow Thai script on red ground, describes these elephants according to an elaborate typology related to Indian manuscripts on elephants.
Exhibitions
  • The Saint John's Bible: A Modern Vision through Medieval Methods. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009.
Provenance Peng Seng, Bangkok; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection, February 16 1963; given to Walters Art Museum, 2002.
Credit Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection, 2002

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Creator
Period
1824 (Rattanakosin)
Medium
ink and paint on paper bound between
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.893
Measurements
Closed manuscript: H: 4 15/16 x L: 14 3/8 x D: 2 3/8 in. (12.2 x 36.5 x 6.1 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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