Lacquerware Kun-It Burmese Zodiac BLW46

From Bagan, Burma, this 19th century lacquerware box is referred to in Burmese as kun-it.  This piece is noteworthy for the deep orange patina and carefully executed incised motifs. Kun-it or betel box is an indispensable item of hospitality in a Burmese household. Interlocking designs which create an attractive framework for other motifs are popular in Burmese decorative art. This piece is incised with one of the most popular patterns referred to as ku-nan-kan-byat (Yunnan semi-circle design), with a row of symbols from the Burmese zodiac circling the lid.

This kun-it has one tray in addition to the main box as shown in the photos. Expected wear is present, including minor surface cracks consistent with age, as shown in the photos. It is free from repairs, and the lid still fits over the body like a glove, which is testament to the quality of workmanship.

Height: 21cm, 8.5 in
Diameter: 23cm, 9 in
Provenance: Antique Dealer, Northern Thailand
Period: Late 19th century

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