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A Royal Thai Basket
This gold mounted yan lipao basket is finely woven in two colours and has a mudmee silk lining. The mounts, feet, clasp and corded handle are of finely worked 22 carat gold and to the centre of the lid is a blue enamel mount with the initial "A" in diamonds. The clasp is modelled in the form of an elephant and the casket is resting on the backs four elephants.
This was probably a royal gift from Prince and Princess Chula Chakrabongse of Thailand to HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent on her wedding to Sir Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey on 24 April, 1963
The Royal Collections of HRH The Prince George, Duke of Kent
and HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
The elephant which has long been the royal symbol in Thailand and was incorporated into the Thai flag by Rama II in the early part of the 19th century is used here for the clasp and feet of the basket. The elephant forming the clasp stands upon a lotus and is decorated with ankle bracelets and tusk ornaments. Further lotus flowers form the hinges and are found on the backs of the elephants which form the feet. The mother of Buddha dreamed that an elephant offered her a lotus flower on the eve of her delivery and it has come to symbolize purity and knowledge while the white elephant is a symbol of fertility and success.
Yan Lipao is a vine native to the mountainous jungles in the South of Thailand and due to its strength and durability has traditionally been used for basketry.
height 18 cm diameter 17 cm (7 x 6.75 in)
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