- Museum number
Betel box, 'kun it', made of split bamboo and decorated with cinnabar lacquer in the 'myin mo' pattern. The decoration around the side of the lid is the Twelve Signs of the Burmese Zodiac while the top of the lid bears the Eight Planets or Days of the Week. Above and below the main frieze are borders, including narrow bands that are chequered in imitation of notched bands of bamboo and are surely an older form of decoration than the 'yun' technique. There are two internal trays.
- Production date
- 1875-1925 (circa)
Diameter: 22 centimetres (max)
Height: 19 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Isaacs and Blurton 2000:
This well-used betel-box is decorated in a 'yun' pattern known as 'myin mo', a name that derives from Mount Meru, the centre of the cosmos in the Indian system of beliefs used by the Burmese, and refers to the stepped shape of the panels or frames. The lines of these frames stand out clearly from the background, but the figures within are drawn so as to be almost submerged in the overall scrollwork; this is a deliberate conceit. This convention allows the 'yun' artist scope for considerable playful skill, but was not appreciated by several British observers and officials who found it perverse and irritating. They preferred clearly delineated figures, strongly detached from the background, and found the overall infill fussy and over-elaborate.
The two sequences - zodiac and days of the week - are frequently combined on betel-boxes in this way.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000 Apr - 2000 Aug, BM, 'Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer.'
2001 Dec - 2002 Feb, Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 'Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer.'
2002 Apr- 2002 Jul, Bath, East Asian Art Museum,'Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer.'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by donor from Daw Nu Nu Tin, Pagan, December 1989.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Isaacs 5