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Detail carving on railing of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

Detail carving on railing of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1904

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(181)

Item number: 10041181

Length: 15

Width: 20.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the façade of the Taik Taw Kyaung (monastery) at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. The photograph was taken by an unknown photographer in 1904 under the direction of Taw Sein Ko, the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Burma at the time. This view shows flamboyant carvings ornamenting the eaves of the tiered roof and the balustrade of the veranda surrounding the monastery buildings. The monastery was built in 1859 by King Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), the founder of Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital. As a consequence of royal patronage there was a wealth of monastic architecture in the city. The Taik Taw included architectural elements thought to have come from the palace at Amarapura, the former Burmese capital, and the exterior was decorated with bold and vivid woodcarvings, a traditional artform at which Burmese artisans excelled. Taw Sein Ko wrote of the monastery in his ‘Report on Archaeological Work in Burma for the year 1908-09’ (Rangoon, 1909): “Under the Burmese regime, it was used as the official residence of the Thathanabaing or Buddhist Archbishop, and no effort was spared to impart to it an air of splendour and magnificence…it forms, with the Salin, Shwenandaw and Myadaung [Queen’s Golden] monasteries, a quartette of exquisite specimens of Burmese wooden architecture.”

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