Decorated Lacquerware Box BLW13


The style of this antique lacquerware box is rarely seen, with tall rectangular sides decorated with diamond shaped inlay and ‘ghost’ drawings of elephants lightly incised on each surface including the lid as illustrated in one of the photos. It was made in Bagan, the center of lacquerware production. It is colored in cinnabar pigmented lacquer. The sides were made using jackfruit wood which have received layer upon layer of natural lacquer pigmented with cinnabar.

Read Testimonials

Availability: In stock

This lacquerware vessel has seen considerable use and there are minor chips and cracks present as illustrated in the photos, particularly the base. This is quite normal for lacquer boxes of this age that were in regular use.

To make lacquer containers, sap is drawn from the Melanorrhoeausitata tree found in North-eastern Burma. Pigments such as ochre, cinnabar, orpiment and indigo are added and mixed to achieve the desired colour. A dozen or more coats are then applied to the base of the object (which may be bamboo or soft wood) resulting in a beautiful lustre that is waterproof and very durable. The object is left to dry and then polished. This process is repeated several times and requires great skill, experience and time.

Height: 36cm, 14 in
Width: 25cm, 10 in
Depth: 19.5cm, 7.7 in
Materials: jackfruit wood, lacquer
Provenance: Burmese antique dealer
Period: Early 20th century

Read more about Lacquerware
Asian Decor Photos
Read about Asian Antiques


Scroll to Top