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Lacquered Letter Tube (Sa Dauk)
Burma
circa 1920

length: 35cm

Cylinders such as this example were formed from cloth stiffened with lacquer and rolled to form a tube (Isaacs & Blurton, 2000, p. 87). One end is closed and
the other has a removable cap. The tube is in black lacquer incised in grey with Burmese lion (
thein) figures within cartouches and surrounded by stylised
orchid motifs against a cross-hatched ground.

Such cylinders were used to hold letters between senior monks, or official documents such as diplomas. Fraser-Lu (2000, p. 112) says that such document
holders most probably were to hold documents written on dried, cut palm leaves.

Provenance: UK art market

References:
Fraser-Lu, S.,
Burmese Lacquerware, White Orchid Books, 2000.
Isaacs, R., & T.R. Blurton,
Burma and the Art of Lacquer, River Books, 2000.

Inventory no.: 1532

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