Gilt-Copper Plaques of the Ramayana
Place of Origin: Thailand (possibly Bangkok)
Date: Circa 1900
Overall Height: 140mm (5 ½ Inches)
Each of these five gilt-copper repoussé plaques portrays a scene from the Ramayana (the Hindu epic poem) in which Lakshmana, brother of the protagonist hero Rama, and a masked Indrajita, the son of their enemy Ravana, do battle. The combatants’ attire and accoutrements are picked out in fine detail, and the dramatic composition of their heroic struggle makes for an especially striking sequence when the plaques are viewed as a group.
The Rammakian, a Thai version of the epic of Rama (or Ramayana), became a popular subject in the country’s artworks during the 18th and 19th centuries. A manuscript preserved at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and formerly belonging to the Doris Duke Collection depicts this same scene.
 See Forrest McGill & M.L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati (eds.), Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma 1775-1950, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2009, p. 189, Cat. No. 104.