Decorated Lacquerware Kun-It BLW33


This antique lacquerware box from Bagan, Burma is among the finest we have seen. It has been incised with a peacock on the upper surface surrounded by parrots. Referred to in Burmese as kun-it – meaning betel box – these containers were an indispensable item of hospitality in a Burmese household.

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The motifs on this lacquerware box are expressed in black, green, and gold against the classic deep orange color of most lacquerware from Bagan, achieved using the pigment of cinnabar. In addition to the motifs, there are very fine dots covering the entire surface. This kun-it has one tray in addition to the main box as shown in the photos.

Minor surface cracks consistent with its age are present but overall the condition is very good. The patina retains a deep luster which is an indication of superior lacquerware craftsmanship.

Antique lacquerware of this quality is a rare find nowadays.

Height: 9.8cm, 3.9 in
Diameter: 18cm, 7 in
Provenance: Antique Dealer, Bagan
Period: Late 19th century

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