Large Antique Lacquerware Hsun-Ok BLW32

This is a fine example of Burmese lacquerware. It is an offering vessel, or ‘hsun ok’, made from coiled bamboo and teak wood, which has then been covered with several layers of red lacquer created by mixing cinnabar with natural black lacquer sap. The bulbous element set halfway up the spire is a distinctive feature of this style of vessel. On the lower section, a band of thin wooden balusters, each one carved separately and then lacquered, encircles the waist of the pedestal.

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A great deal of time has gone into creating this fine old vessel. The likely provenance is Pagan (also written as Bagan) as supported by authoritative author on Burmese artifacts, Fraser-Lu.

The provision of food for monks is considered an act of merit, and the large range of vessels for carrying votive offerings to the monastery is an important part of the lacquer-maker’s inventory. This elegant shape is common, though the bulbous element set into the spire is rare.

The comparatively rare style is coveted by collectors and an almost identical hsun-ok is housed in the British Museum. This hsun-ok is in superb condition. It appears that there may have been minor restoration of the spire completed some time ago, which is the case with most Burmese lacquerware of this period.

Height: 78cm, 31 in
Diameter: 43cm, 17 in
Materials: coiled bamboo, teak, lacquer, pigment
Provenance: Burmese antique dealer
Period: Late 19th – Early 20th century

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