This is a lovely Red Lacquer Offering Bowl with a lid from Thailand. These were used by families to carry offerings of food to monasteries. Lacquered bowls are red or red with black on the exterior. Most antique serving bowls were used in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The lacquer is the sap tapped from the varnish tree Melanorrhoea usitata or Thitsee that grows wild in the forests. It is straw-colored but turns black on exposure to air. When brushed in or coated on it forms a hard glossy smooth surface resistant from the effects of exposure to moisture or heat. Lacquering is an ancient craft combining exotic imagery, exquisite detailing and satiny finishes, which has transformed a stunning variety of ordinary and esoteric objects over many centuries. Naturally black, other colors are achieved using additional pigments such as cinnabar (red) from China, orpiment (yellow) from the Shan states and green by combining the two. Blue comes from indigo, usually obtained from India. The art of achieving just the right color, particularly red/orange is a closely guarded secret of lacquer ware artisans. This is a lovely offering bowl and lid that will adorn any table, home or collection.
16" across top
Collected in the field, shows age with chips and cracks, but overall still in good condition.
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