Despite seeing considerable use, this lacquerware vessel is in excellent condition. Burmese lacquerware is very robust as a result of the many layers of lacquer applied over the course of months. There are minor chips and cracks present as illustrated in the photos. This is quite normal for lacquer boxes of this age that were in regular use. There are no repairs and the piece is structurally sound.
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 color. 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 luster 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, in this case several months.
Width: 30cm, 12 in
Height: 30cm, 12 in
Depth: 17cm, 7 in
Materials: jackfruit wood, woven bamboo, lacquer
Provenance: Antique dealer, Bagan
Period: Early 20th century