Rare Lacquerware Hsun-Ok BLW24

This is a fine example of a traditional lacquerware hsun-ok in exceptional condition. It is from Bagan, the center of lacquerware production, and is one of the most distinct of all the forms of Burmese lacquer vessels. A hsun-ok is a stupa (top of a temple) shaped vessel used for presenting food to a Buddhist monastery, and in the past, to members of the royal family. It is lacquered in the traditional red-orange color made using the pigment from cinnabar.

The hsun-ok comprises a wide curved bowl set on a waisted pedestal flaring out to a circular foot-ring. The lid tapers to an elegant spire, which is relieved at intervals by graceful bulbous moldings. The base was crafted from woven bamboo which was then treated with several layers of lacquer. Hsun-ok are traditionally carried proudly on the heads of Burmese women to the temple as an act of merit.

It is testimony to how well Burmese lacquerware is made that it survives regular use so well. This hsun-ok has been waxed to revive the patina.

Height: 69cm, 27 in
Diameter: 34cm, 13.5in
Materials: woven bamboo, lacquer, pigment
Provenance: Burmese antique dealer
Period: Early 20th century

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