ST1028 COLOSSAL BURMESE LACQUER ALTAR CONTAINER (HSUN-OK)
BURMA, PROBABLY FROM KYAUKKA
H. 90 CMS, 35 1/2 INS.
A colossal container for food offerings (hsun-ok), consisting of four parts and constructed of woven bamboo with a wood base and finished with multiple layers of black lacquer
Kyaukka village in western Burma is well known for the manufacture, by hand, of black lacquerware called Kyaukka ware. Hsun-oks come in many shapes and sizes and are offering boxes used to carry gifts of food and other donations for Buddhist temples and monasteries. This example is exceptionally large and was probably placed on an altar.
For a fine example of similar shape see pl. 233 in Than Htun, Lacquerware Journeys: The Untold Story of Burmese Lacquer, Bangkok: River Books, 2013. For two exceptional examples of Kyaukka hsun-oks in the British Museum, see cat. nos. 93 and 94 in R. Isaacs and T.R. Blurton, Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer, London: British Museum Press, 2000. For more on the history and manufacture of Burmese lacquer, please see the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacquerware#Burmese_lacquerware
Provenance: Private English collection.