Bencharong is a unique type of porcelain that was made in China exclusively for Thai royals and the ruling elite throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries. The kaleidoscopic colours of these enamelled pieces were inspired by Buddhist and Hindu mythology as well as verdant, tropical vegetation. Although Bencharong was made in China, it is distinctively Thai in form and aesthetics.
This book traces the history of Bencharong, from the ancient and renowned kilns of Jingdezhen in China to its final destination of Siam (now Thailand). Lavishly illustrated with photographs of Bencharong held in both private and public collections, it contains many images never before published. These include "lai nam thong" (gold-washed) porcelain, an opulent variant used only by royalty. With its broad scope and original A-Z directory of symbolism, this book serves as a single reference source on Bencharong for both new-comers and seasoned collectors alike.
Dawn F. Rooney is a long-term Thai resident and art historian specializing in Southeast Asia. She is the author of numerous books, many on the ceramics of the region.