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Burmese betel box, kun-it, Yun - shwe zawa. 9.5cm.

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Burmese betel box, kun-it, Yun - shwe zawa. 9.5cm.

This mid 20th Century box is lacquered black inside and out and features the shwe zawa gold leaf technique of decoration. Traditional Yun design. This style is from Pagan in Burma and features a mythical lion - the chinte - 3 in total, with vegetal scroll (chu pan) decoration. For full details on the technique see Burma and the Art of Lacquer by Isaacs and Blurton, River Books, 2000, p38-39. A similar example can also be viewed on p. 226.

In very good condition overall - a lovely example. See photos for full details. Such small betel boxes did not have interior trays and were not designed for betel use. They were used for holding cosmetics and trinkets, and were often (as is very possible in this example) used as children's toys for those who could afford them - meaning few survived.

Provenance: the property of an American diplomat, stationed in Asia in the 1950s and 60s.

Size (approx):
Height = 9.5cm.
Diameter at base = 6.5cm.