Gilded Lacquerware Hsun-Ok BLW29


This impressive and relatively small spired offering vessel is known as a hsun-ok, and is from Mandalay, Burma. It is covered in lacquer-work in relief known as thayo and gilding with 24K gold leaf over an orange-red lacquer base. It has been inset with dozens of small pieces of colored glass forming flowers and scrolling designs. The hsun-ok comprises a wide curved bowl set on a waisted pedestal flaring out to a circular foot-ring. The lid tapers to an elegant spire, which is relieved at intervals by graceful bulbous moldings.

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The vessel was constructed using woven bamboo and wooden substructure which then received multiple layers of lacquer, which is then gilded and decorated. This hsun-ok is a far more elaborate style than the hsun-ok commonly used to make offerings to the monkhood. Hsun-ok of this kind were used to decorate shrines and altars. Often they were placed in pairs on both sides of the altar.

The condition is very good for pieces of this age. A peculiarity of this hsun-ok is that from some angles of view the spire leans to one side. This is not the result of a repair, but an idiosyncratic feature of the piece.

Height: 47cm, 18.5 in
Diameter: 19cm, 7.5 in
Materials: woven bamboo, wood, lacquer, 24K gold, stained glass
Provenance: Antique Dealer, Mandalay
Period: Late 19th century

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