Propitiatory figurine - mother and baby, Thailand antique
Propitiatory figurine - mother and baby, Thailand
This terracotta female figurine would be traditionally placed in a Thai spirit house, shrine or temple as a propitiatory offering.
In modern times cheap plastic figurines are often used to fulfil this function.
Ceramic kilns at Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai fired thousands of similar figurines in the 14th to 15th centuries; The colors varied from white to celadon to brown, and black underpinning was occasionally used to emphasize details. What makes these individually modeled pieces so much more interesting than the mould-stamped modern versions is the love and observation that clearly has been put into them.
None are masterpieces, but the work of local craftsmen who draw on their own experience and the life around them to create spontaneous as well as sincere works. The mother-and-child figure, definitely mass-produced from the quantities that have been unearthed, was a particular favorite, and usually lovingly observed.
This piece depicts a mother and child and may well have been used in order to try and encourage pregnancy or good health until childbirth, or in the hope that the health of a sick child be restored.
Approx 10 cm high x 5.5 cm wide x 3.5 cm deep
circa 15th century