Antique/Vintage Black Lacquer Hsun-Ok, Burma/Myanmar (6211BSK)



Beautifully shaped hsun ok pieces reveal much about Burmese artisans: their wood and lacquer skills are elegant,  support for monastic life and devotion to Buddhism is heartfelt and their spiritual works enhance the lives of those who have them.This large hsun ok set on a pedestal flaring out to a foot-ring with has a lid topped by a tall finial imitating the peak of a Buddhist stupa with applied elaborate animal and floral decorations. Early 20th century pieces in good condition with these special details are very difficult to find and copies abound.



A Hsun Ok is a graceful, lidded lacquer vessel used in Theravada Buddhism in Burma/Myanmar by devotees to carry offerings for monks to monasteries or temples to “make merit” toward Buddhist enlightenment. Filled with items such as rice, fruit, boiled eggs, and other gifts, they are traditionally carried by women who place them in altars or next to Buddha images. The spire’s circular levels of this antique/vintage piece are lined in red cinnabar, its wide spiral base is intricately decorated with four evenly placed quatrefoils with mythical animals and interspersed with flowers surrounded by elegant curving elements. Lacquerware is a traditional Burmese craft dating from the 13th century, and was the preferred gift by Burmese kings to foreign envoys.  Constructing a Hsun Ok is very labor and time intensive, especially for pieces with intricate designs. The skeleton is wood, bamboo, or lacquer and the surface is covered black lacquer and covered with multiple layers of red cinnabar lacquer (hinthabada) sometimes ending in a black surface. Lacquering takes weeks and applications to make pieces resilient. Raised decorations are formed from mixed  lacquer sap and ash hand rolled, and carefully applied. This large hsun ok in very good condition with a fine patina, minor surface losses, and minor damage on the top edge of the bowl. This is part of VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Buddhist-Art.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique/Vintage (1910-1980)


19-20th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 26.25” Dia: 12.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 66.68cm Dia: 31.75cm


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size