AGE: – 19th – Early 20th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Bamboo and lacquer
DESCRIPTION: – Burmese Lacquer ware Hsun-ok Monks Offering Bowl – Body very good condition, gilding worn and faded with age and use.
HEIGHT: – 62cm
BASE DIAMETER: – 31cm
BOWL DIAMETER: – 34cm
WEIGHT: – 1.85 kg.
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The Burmese Lacquer ware Hsun-ok Monks Offering Bowl is unique to Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. The popular tourist destination of Bagan, located in the Mandalay division, south west of Mandalay with its myriad of ancient temples and monasteries is also the epicenter in the art of lacquer ware. In Bagan there are numerous small factories making lacquer ware monks bowls as well as a variety of other items such as tissue box holders, cups, plates and other items purely for decoration. They are delicately and beautifully incised with intricate designs, with gilding emphasizing the pattern.
Some lacquer ware pieces have several bowls, whilst others just one with a lid and a wooden ornately carved finial, similar to the finials seen in some Burmese Buddha statue. Some old Hsun-ok offering containers are extremely ornate, decorated with Thayo lacquer, glass mosaics and fully gilded. The most common type are black lacquered, sometimes incised with mythological creatures, figures and astrological symbols related to the Burmese zodiac and scrolling floral designs.
The lacquer ware Hsun-ok offering bowls are used in households for holding offerings to the Buddha on alters, some are purely decorative. Lacquer ware bowls are also carried by some monks during their daily morning rituals of collecting alms. Traditionally monks in many South East Buddhist countries venture out in the early morning to collect food offerings from their local communities in a bowl which is part of a set such as this.