THE VANISHING HEAVENS

BETEL NUT BOX EXPRESSING THE BURMESE 8 DAY WEEK/ZODIAC


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Lacquer: Pre 1910: Item # 1233601
The Vanishing Heavens
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19355 Fitzgerald Lane
Covington Louisiana 70435
985-373-7855

Guest Book
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Very Fine example of a betel box or “ kun it “ in the of the ' yathi or yati yok" pattern . Tis box features 1 internal original tray . Yathi refers to the 12 figures of the zodiac and eight planets or days of the week. The Burmese divide Wednesday into forenoon and afternoon in order to facilitate the allocation of a day to each point of the compass. The 12 roundels around the side of the piece contain the figures of the zodiac and their names in Burmese characters. Around the top are eight medallions containing the eight planetary beasts and their names in Burmese characters. These also represent the names of the days. On the bottom of the base is a stylized peacock, symbol royalty and of the sun. The design has been engraved with fine point scrimshaw like tool. This free hand art form is known as "tont yun". This example is from the Mandalay Period circa 1930. As with all original and authentic Burmese lacquer pieces, this box shows minor wear of use and cracking in the lacquer at edges and on bottom as these items were used in daily life. Dimensions: 8 ¾ inches high x 8 inches in diameter THE BETEL NUT CHEWING HABIT HAS BEEN UNIVERSALLY ENJOYED IS SOUTHEAST ASIA FOR CENTURIES AND CONSUMED THROUGHOUT THE COARSE OF EVERYDAY LIFE. A BETEL NUT PACKET CONSISTS OF A BETEL NUT, FRUIT OF ARECA PALM, A LEAF FROM THE PEPPER VINE AND LIME SOMETIMES AUGMENTED WITH OTHER INDIGENOUS SPICES SUCH AS CLOVES. THE BETEL BOX IS MADE TO HOLD THESE INGREDIENTS. IT IS PRESENTED TO GUESTS AS A GESTURE OF WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY.