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Eaves of main roof, [Taik Taw Kyaung, Mandalay]

Eaves of main roof, [Taik Taw Kyaung, Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1904

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(187)

Item number: 10041187

Length: 10

Width: 14

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of carvings on the eaves of the roof of the Taik Taw Kyaung (Monastery) at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. This 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 is a close-up view of ornamental woodcarving on the eaves of the monastery roof, consisting of bands of leaves, serpentine scrolls, flowers and flame-like pointed elements (nat-saw). The horn-shaped projections known as saing-baung are derived from the haunches of a wild ox. The exterior of the Taik Taw monastery, in particular the roof, was richly decorated with wood carvings, a traditional art form at which Burmese artisans excelled. The monastery was built in 1859 by King Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), the founder of Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital. It is thought that the building included architectural elements from the Royal Palace at Amarapura, the former Burmese capital. 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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