Thai Temple Biku Chair Backing
Biku Chair Backing
1 in stock
A rare, Thai temple Biku Chain Backing from the early 20th Century. The Wheel of Dharma, the eight spoked wheel has an elegant floral pattern at its center. The inlaid glass inside the wheel is set in diamond form and in the sun’s light they shine brilliantly. This reflection of light could be seen as a metaphor for the illumination that this chair’s owner once shared with many. Above the Wheel of Dharma at the apex of the chair backing we see an elegant four petalled flower. This flower also serves as the starting point for the downward descending guardian Nagas.
The Ayutthaya Kingdom of the Siam people ruled from 1350 to 1767. They were friendly toward foreign traders and their kingdom saw frequent visitors from China, Vietnam, India, Japan and Persia, while later traders included emissaries from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and France. All of these people were allowed to set up villages outside the walls of the royal capital city. The court of King Narai (1656-88) had strong ties with King Louis XIV of France whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris. Ayutthaya’s main religion was Theravada Buddhism. Monasteries, monks and their Abbots held great prestige in the culture. The head of the monastery known as the Biku was considered a figure of great wisdom and authority. From his chair in the monastery he would lecture to the monks. His was the seat of spiritual authority. This beautiful early 20th Century Biku Chair Backing is centered by a beautiful carved and glass inlay depiction of the Wheel of Dharma. The Dharma is protected by twin Naga Serpent/Dragon Deities.
Just as the chair supports the backbone and the backbone the will, may we find support, an appreciation for the cycles of life, and the protection of the celestial guardians.