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Mirror on stand
approx. 1850–1900
Central Thailand
Lacquered and gilded wood with mirrored glass
Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Southeast Asian Art Collection, 2006.27.52

The bedchamber of a royal or high-ranking noblewoman would contain a carved wooden bed, a dressing table, and accessories.

Siamese people customarily sat on the floor. In an aristocratic house a mirror stand such as this might be placed on a wide platform on which the noblewoman would sit as though on the floor.

Furniture commissioned for aristocratic homes was often inspired by Chinese or Western models but was made in Siam. Mirrors were generally decorated with floral and vegetal motifs such as lotuses, peonies, or a vase of flowers (which symbolized wealth). Here two elongated bodies of mythical serpents stretch along the sides of the mirror.

all text & images © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

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