Suphannabhetra or the “Golden Sampan” is crafted from gold nielloware to form the ship. The mast is damascened with an inlay of hair-fine gold and silver wires and with enameled golden flags at the top. The sails are perforated gold sheets with wildlife and vine designs. The mat lining the ship is woven strips of gold. The front of the ship is crafted with embossed gold. At the fore of the sampan is a flat area with lotus-shaped base and gold structures surrounding the deck. Two nagas hang down from the fore section with their mouths affixed to handles of gold lanterns with dangling gold chains that end with enameled figures of the monkey warrior Marud (also known as Hanuman) from one chain and the figure of the mermaid Suphannamatcha from the other.
Both sides of the fore stem are ornamented with enameled closed-mouth faces of demons. The bulwark panels of the sampan are filigreed and inserted with strips of metallic beetle parts. Centered in each panel are gold flowers. The aft stern panels of filigreed gold have enameled Vayupak birds affixed on both the port and starboard sides. Shed’s tiered roof of Suphannabhetra is done in gold damascened with the top embossed in gold and encrusted with diamonds. Each fascia’s edge is carved in gold lotus-like on all sides with nagas at the corners. The base tier’s corners adorn motifs of swans with diamonds.
Size : Width 40 cm Length 1.3 m Height 1.575 m
Number of Artisans : 73
Production Time : 1 year 5 months