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Collection of offering vessel (Hsun-ok)

Burma, Shan state

Late 19th-early 20th century

Bamboo and teakwood

H76 x diam.40cm (bamboo)

H75cm (teakwood)

H82cm (teakwood)

H72cm (teakwood)

Provenance: From 2 different private Dutch collections, who acquired the Hsun ok in Burma


Isaacs, R.& T.R.Blurton, Burma and the art of Lavquer, River Books, 2000

Fraser-Lu, S., Burmese lacquerware, White Orchid Books, 2000


This lacquered ceremonial vessel is the Hsun ok, used by wealthy families to carry gifts of food as offerings to the Buddhist monasteries, to gain merit. It is treasured by the monks and used only on very special occasions. 

Typically, bamboo and wood are used as a frame, then numerous coats of lacquer from cinnabar, first black, then red, are applied. The patina will wear down revealing some of the black lacquer, giving each piece its own character. The vessel stands on a stepped circular foot, its cover with a baluster body and an elegant top above. The finial is made of turned teakwood and echoes the shape of the Buddhist stupa. 

Similar examples are found in the British Museum. 




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