Source: Standard literature
Paṭṭal Hatara or "Four Workshops"
"The best of the higher craftsmen (gold and silversmiths, painters and ivory carvers, etc.) working immediately for the King formed a close, largely hereditary, corporation of craftsmen called the Paṭṭal-Hatara (Four Workshops); These men worked only for the King, unless by his express permission (though, of course, their sons or pupils might do otherwise); they were liable to be continually engaged in Kandy..." 1
-Ananda Coomaraswamy, 1908
Originally just one paṭṭala (workshop) called the Ābharaṇa paṭṭala or "Regalia Workshop", they later got divided into four, namely:
- Ābharaṇa paṭṭala or "Jewelry Workshop"
- Oṭṭuna paṭṭala or "Crown Workshop"
- Rankaḍu paṭṭala or "Golden Sword Workshop", the armory.
- Siṃhāsana paṭṭala or "Lion Throne Workshop", mainly painters and ivory carvers.
Craftsmen could move from one paṭṭala to another depending on what they were working on. A place in the Paṭṭal Hatara was usually hereditary, craftsmen coming from the most prominent families of craftsmen. It was a high position that according to Coomaraswamy came with considerable reward and was thus much desired. 2
Sinhalese lacquer work on a fine Sinhalese patisthānaya from the King's Four Workshops.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.
A Sinhalese kasthané made in the Rankaḍu paṭṭala.
Article: Sinhalese lacquer work
1. See Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieaval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, New York, Second Edition of the 1908 original, 1956. Page 55.
2. Ibid. Page 56.