Southeast Asia

From richly-illustrated Thai and Burmese folding books and Buddhist texts inscribed on palm leaf and paper, to divination books written on bark by the Batak peoples of Sumatra, the cultures of Southeast Asia are represented by more than 250 works in the Chester Beatty collections. Dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, many of these works embody the courtly splendor of vibrant kingdoms and flourishing religious devotion, others reveal the encroachment of colonial powers.

Monk’s ordination text
19th century
Burma
CBL Bu 1238

Highlights

  • List
  • Grid
  • Slideshow
  • Extracts from the Pali canon
    late-18th century
    Thailand
    CBL Thi 1341

    1 / 9

  • Court amusements and ceremonies
    19th century
    Burma
    CBL Bu 1201

    2 / 9

  • Elephant treatise
    1816
    Thailand
    CBL Thi 1301

    3 / 9

  • Burmese painter’s pattern-book
    probably 19th century
    Burma
    CBL Bu 1277

    4 / 9

  • Divination manuscript
    mid-19th century
    Thailand
    CBL Thi 1302

    5 / 9

  • Monk’s ordination text
    19th century
    Burma
    CBL Bu 1238

    6 / 9

  • Court ceremonies
    after 1885
    Burma
    CBL Bu 1290

    7 / 9

  • Extracts from the Pali canon and Story of Phra Malai
    1897
    Thailand
    CBL Thi 1319

    8 / 9

  • Extracts from the Pali canon and Story of Phra Malai
    late-19th century
    Thailand
    CBL Thi 1312

    9 / 9

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Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92