Phra Kru Mueang Suphanburi - Phra Krai Pim Mee Bpra Paa Monton
(Written by Chris Jones / Buddhist Amulets.com) Please respect copyright.
It is a real pleasure to be able to be able to write about this ancient amulet (Phra Kru) from Supanburi province, known as Phra Krai Pim Mee Bpra Paa Monton, where bpra paa monton refers to the Halo.
Supanburi province is one of the many ancient cities of Thailand famous for art and literature.
For the amulet worshippers and experts this province is also well known as the origin, or the place of birth of Phra Khun Paen amulets. It is here that the legend of Khun Paen, the famous warrior and lover was born.
On several occasions ancient Kru, or cells that have long kept hidden ancient amulets and in particular Khun Paen amulets have been discovered. Most of these amulets are considered quite valuable, not only because they are sacred but also very scarce.
Such was the case in B.E.2450, about 100 years ago, when an ancient Kru was found at Wat Phraroop, an old temple of the province. Inside the Kru were found what are now know today as Phra Khun Paen Krai Pa amulets. As you can probably imagine these amulets are extremely valuable and much sough after by professional collectors.
Phra Khun Paen-Krai-Pa amulets are assumed to be one of the oldest designs in the Khun paen family of amulets. Indeed the style of these amulets is that of Lopburi and Uthong art, both admired and considered unique and beautiful by Thai scholars. Certainly the style of this amulet is unmistakably unique and easy to identify. There are other designs of Khun Paen that have been found at the temple and generally are within the price range of the moderate collector.
All of Phra Khun Paen Krai-Pa amulets were made of delicate soils reflecting the ancient people’s manual skill in creating sacred objects. Most of the amulets in existence are still in very good condition despite being well over 600 years old.
Wat Praroop, Suphanburi, very close to the other famous temple of the province Wat Bang Krang, however you will be interested to learn that these pims outdate the Khun Paen pims from Wat Bang Krang.
Wat Praroop will be known to modern day amulet collectors as it was made famous by Luang Phor Dee who used the powder from many of these ancient amulets to create his Phra Pong Suphan amulets in BE 2514. in fact Wat Praroop is a very old temple believed to date from the the Utong period
In my opinion there are not many modern amulets, if any to be honest, that even come close to the beauty of a pim like this. I not only refer to the physical beauty but the fact that these amulets were made with genuine purity of heart, far removed from today's commercialism.
Owning a Thai amulets has many different meanings for many people, but to me amulets such as this are unique works of art, highly representative of the very essence of what makes collecting so enjoyable, and if you collect for along enough then eventually you also will gravitate to a full appreciation of the history and art tied up in these miniature objects of worship.
Strangely enough if you start by collecting these ancient amulets you are generally better equipped to examine modern pims with a far higher degree of proficiency.
I will introduce to you some of the basic techniques in authentication, and you will understand that comment, and why in particular the eye glass is a very important tool.
Physical appearance and size are important aspects but cannot always be relied upon like their modern counterparts with highly specific dimensions. In fact the most important aspect is the actual composition of the amulet which should be carefully scrutinized with a x10 eye glass. This in the majority of cases will differentiate between the copies and genuine amulets.
This particular amulet is made from Neua Din mixed with pollens and sedges giving them their unique characteristics of a bright and beautiful complexion with warm colouration and soft edges to protrusions. This surface brilliance, if not immediately evident, can be induced by simply polishing lightly with a high quality cloth. A dull complexion which does not exhibit this natural property should be an immediate alert.
Look closely at the texture of the amulet and small red dots are highly visible, this is known to be due to the inclusion of (Wan Dok Makham) Makham plant, an elegant way to help determine authenticity.
Also look carefully and you may note some smaller black dots known as raa dam, in fact this is a highly localised black fungus and helps not only to determine origin but authenticity.
These are the tricks of the trade that professionals use, and almost all Phra Kru from every province in Thailand can be examined in this exact manner and are well worth committing to memory.