Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Intha Lacquer Offering Stand of Inle Lake Origin

Intha Lacquer Offering Stand of Inle Lake Origin


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Lacquer: Pre 1900: Item # 896352

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An offering stand, or “kalat,” used by the Intha people who live in the villages around Inle Lake in one of the Shan states in northeastern Burma, is from the late 19th century. A similar though more recent piece in the British Museum is pictured in “Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer,” by Isaacs and Blurton, British Museum Press, p. 163. Kalat stands such as this were used by families in much the same manner as the tall, spired hsun-ok to carry offerings of food to the monastery. According to the British Museum book, the Intha people spread white cotton lace cloths in the upper bowl so the corners hung down decoratively over the rim, then arranged on the cloth small metal bowls of delicacies such as buffalo crisps, roasted garlic and fried fish, spread flowers around the open containers and carried the artful arrangement on their heads through the streets to the monastery. While we personally have not seen this particular sort of procession, it does conjure a nice sight. The piece we’re showing here is made of wood heavily coated with dark red lacquer. The bowl is elevated on turned wood rods spaced so light peeks between them, giving the piece a graceful, airy look. This kalat is in very good condition with just one area where the surface of the lacquer has some damage in the bottom of the bowl (see photo enlargement # 3). Dimensions: height 8 ¾” (22.5 cm), diameter 12 ¼” (31 cm). (SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM)