Antique Lacquer from Thailand and Burma (Myanmar)
Alive with intricately rendered figures, frames and tiny yellow dots, this antique betel box is one of the most interesting we’ve seen of this style. The figures on the top represent the eight calendar animals for the week (Wednesday gets two), and the sides of the cylindrical top are ringed with the twelve figures of the zodiac, plus added figures to complete the circle. The background of dark salmon-colored lacquer is covered with tiny yellow dots and the thin black lines of scale-like frames. On the bottom is Burmese writing, as yet untranslated, tho the date of 1209 (Burmese Era) can be read and converts to 1847CE. At this age, it is not unusual to see damage, as shown. We like that this beautiful object was used and enjoyed by multiple generations and can be still treasured in spite of its flaws. [Date Converter]
Size: 7 inches high; 9 inches diameter
Beautifully rendered calendar and zodiac animals and figures ornament the top and sides of the lid and main container in this handsome betel box (‘kun-it’). The eight calendar animals for the week (two for Wednesday) are on the lid with a peacock in the center (in order clockwise from top): a tiger, mythical lion, elephant with tusks, dragon, rat, elephant without tusks, guinea pig, and the mythical bird ‘Garuda’. Encircling the sides of the top are the twelve zodiac figures. The sides of the main container inside have depictions of the eight animals of the week. Intricate details fill the spaces around the figures. Inside are two separate trays, as is customary. This is of relative recent production (25-40 years), but exhibits the fine detail and skill of older pieces. The multiple colors also indicate the many steps required to create this fine piece. Condition is very good, with only small areas of wear/chipping.
9 in. high x 9 in. diameter
Charming handpainted bands embellish this lacquered basketry betel box from Chiang Mai. Similar in style to those of Burma, but less sophisticated, it has a folk art charm with flower motifs encircling the body. An inner single tray is typical of this style, as is the lack of a lid. It has been lovingly repaired over its long life (early 20thc) and tho it shows cracks and repairs, the decorative painting is intact. We do not see these available anymore.
Size: 6.5″h x 10″dia.
This handsome box from Chiang Mai is lacquered woven bamboo with attractive natural-color bamboo edging. It is about 15-20 years old, but is made using traditional materials and methods of the past. The design is elegantly spare, but with nice details.
Size: 8.5″ across base X6.75″ high
This is a fine example of these elegant, unusual baskets (pan duang) which were the specialty of the lacquer artisans in Kyaukka in the early 20th century. Made of split and bent bamboo, they were used to carry bunches of flowers for use as offerings at the pagodas. This one has vestiges of painted floral motifs on the sides and is a generous size; condition is very good with no significant damage- just some small chips and fine cracks from a century of use. (Please see Isaacs, Ralph and T. Richard Blurton; Burma and the Art of Lacquer; River Books 2000; p.172)
Size: 14″ x 10″ x 16″
This diminutive old bowl is beautifully textured with the woven basketry showing from underneath the cinnabar-red-colored lacquer. The shape is pleasing, and a bit funky in its irregularity. No doubt it has had long use and has some evidence of past repair. The small size is unusual, as most offering bowls are considerably larger.
Size: 8″ diam. x 5.75″ h. – lid is 5.25″ dia.