Bagan is the center of lacquer-ware production in Burma, where the tradition is centuries old. The kun-it is constructed from coils of bamboo (tin-wa) slivers that have been applied with several layers of lacquer and decorated with a sharp iron stylus. The substance used to make lacquer in Burma is called thit-si, a sap from the Melanorrhoea Usitata, a tree that grows wild in Burma, mostly in the Shan States. Cinnabar from China was added to achieve the red color and green from a combination of orpiment and indigo. The art of achieving certain tonal qualities of color is a closely guarded secret and it has been said that a master will not impart this secret even to his wife, and only to the most trusted of his sons.
Height: 12cm, 4.7 in
Diameter: 14cm, 5.5 in
Provenance: Chiang Mai Antique Dealer
Period: 19th Century