I'll never pass by an antique Burmese cinnabar-colored lacquer betel box if I can afford it--which increasingly I can't, as these fine older ones have become quite precious. (An almost exact likeness of this one is listed on First Dibs at $1200). I lucked out on this one though, and another larger one I am listing simultaneously, both from the same estate. Both are very large, and really beautiful.
Burmese (Myanmar) lacquerware dates back to the 13th century, called “Thitsi” for the sap of the Thitsi Tree used for the lacquer. Cylindrical boxes such as this, called kun-it, were used to store ingredients needed for betel chewing, with a box of this large size used for guests. This one dates to the early 20th century I believe, constructed with a spun bamboo frame lacquered with a cinnabar color and incised with traditional decorative patterns including bird at the very center of the lid. Inside are two very nice lacquer trays with tiered bottoms, and incised patterns at their centers. Really lovely.
10" tall and 10 1/2" in diameter. One of the trays is 3 1/8" tall, the other 2 1/4". All in very good condition, with light wear to the lacquer and minor surface cracking.