Beautiful Antique Burmese Lacquer Betel Box with Interior Tray

Regular price $135.00

I am a huge fan of Burmese lacquerware betel boxes, but it has been a long time since I found an old one in nice condition--until spotting this one on a quick twirl through the Hudson River Valley this past week. I find this cinnabar color to be perhaps the most beautiful color in existence, and while some Burmese "yun" lacquer features elaborate incised figural imagery, I'm partial to the matte surface and overall patterning on one like this.

Cylindrical boxes such as this, called kun-it, were used to store ingredients needed for betel chewing-- once a common practice in southeast Asia, and central to social interaction, making the betel box was an important object, offered to guests in a gesture of hospitality for them to select their preferred ingredients.  The top fits snugly over the bottom, which holds one fitted tray inside. 

A perfectly sized one at 7 3/8 diameter x 6 3/8 tall. Light general wear and aging, with some darkening to the lacquer on the flat top but overall very good condition, late 19th/early 20th c. I believe.