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Bi-it (cosmetic box)

Bi-it (cosmetic box)

  • Place of origin:

    Shan (possibly Laikha, made)
    Burma

  • Date:

    ca. 1st half 19th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Made of woven split bamboo. The outside of the box is covered with black thitsi lacquer into which the design has been traced with a graver and filled in silver-paint. The ground is crossed-hatched in red and the whole is covered with a golden transparent varnish.

  • Credit Line:

    Curzon Bequest

  • Museum number:

    IM.199-1927

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Large cylindrical box, of very fine workmanship in Shan-Thai style, with slip-over cover and with two internal trays in black red and silver with scenes from an unknown story. The top of the cover is decorated with elephants, goats and trees and with 4 horse-men (repeated), beaters, trees, woman archer and a group of women swimming on the sides. The base of the bi-it is decorated with dancers. The insides and trays are plain scarlet.

Place of Origin

Shan (possibly Laikha, made)
Burma

Date

ca. 1st half 19th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Made of woven split bamboo. The outside of the box is covered with black thitsi lacquer into which the design has been traced with a graver and filled in silver-paint. The ground is crossed-hatched in red and the whole is covered with a golden transparent varnish.

Dimensions

Height: 32.5 cm, Diameter: 43.8 cm of base

Descriptive line

Burmese Shan States bamboo and lacquer cylindrical bi-it (cosmetic box) in black, red and silver with scenes from an unknown story, scarlet interior. ca. lst half 19th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Sylvia Fraser-Lu; Burmese Lacquerware
Bangkok 1985; p. 80; pl. 78

Arts of Asia; July/August 1996
Noel F. Singer; Nineteenth Century Court Lacquerware from Myanmar and the Box of "The Sorceress";

Materials

Bamboo; Thitsi lacquer; Clay; Ash; Gold leaf; Pigment

Techniques

Basketry; Lacquering; Colouring; Gilding

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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