No. 91. Amerapoora. Balcony of Kyoung No. 86 [Maha-too-lo-Bounghian Kyoung].
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, showing the balcony of a kyaung (monastery) at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar). Wood-carving is a living tradition in Burma, wood-carvers are supremely skilled in translating motifs from a treasury of legends and floral patterns into different types of woods. Tripe
wrote of this close-up detail of richly-carved woodwork, 'The festooned panelling on this has very fine effect; the principal lines are marked by mirror. The corbels and open tracery below are remarkable'. In 1855 a British mission was sent to King Mindon Min of Burma to negotiate a settlement regarding Pegu, annexed by the British following the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Linnaeus Tripe was the official photographer on this mission, his pioneering architectural and topographical views of the country are an important photographic record.
Amarapura, on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, was twice the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty: from 1782 (the year of its foundation by King Bodawpaya) to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860, after which Mandalay, 11 km to the north, became capital. Amarapura was the site of the first British Embassy to Burma in 1795, and played host again to Tripe's Mission.