Search results for: "lacquer tray"


DIA330xH70mm, China

A lacquer tray of a lion playing with a xiu qiu (a fabric ball), a symbol of blessing from this mythical powerful creature.

The tray is constructed by 8 sections and a flat octagonal size board in the center, held with a wire.  The base of the 8 sections have fine carving painted in gold.

Click here to see our other lacquer trays.


lacquer trayDIA330xH80mm, China

A lacquer tray decorated with picture of a scene from the Beijing opera “Tai Jun Ci Cao”.  The story is about the famous Yang family of warriors.

First some background to the story; Commander Lord Yang,  his wife She Sai Hua and their 7 sons was defending the North Han country against the Sung.  Though the Sung army is the stronger one, the Yang’s family out smarted them, the Sung General Pan was shot by Lady’s She’s arrow and had to retreat.  Failing with the attack, the Sung emperor spread rumors about Lord Yang which had the suspicious North Han emperor distrust Yang’s advice and was defeated utterly.  After the victory, the Sung emperor took Lord Yang under his wing and made him a trusted official, General Pan was very jealous of this promotion.

The Liao country start attacking Sung, Lord Yang and his sons was defending Sung at the border.  Yang’s army was out numbered, 3 of his sons were killed in action, he send his 7th son to get reinforcement but was secretly killed by Pan.  Lord Yang was captured and one of his son was captured, Lord Yong committed suicide to avoid being used as a hostage while his son was selected by the Liao Princess to be her husband.  The 5th son was tired of all the fighting and the politics became a monk.  The 6th son managed to escape and returned to the Sung capital and became the commander in place of his father but was later killed in action.

The opera story on the lacquer dish appear at this point, the Sung emperor asked the Yang family to led the fight with the Liao.  With all the males gone, here is only Lady She (now in her 70s), 2 daughters, the daughter in laws and young grandson left in the family.  Lady She, the commander with the female warriors led the army to victory.  When they return safety home, Lady She after losing all her sons fearing that her only grandson too would eventually die in battle ask the Emperor to allow the family to leave their duty as the commanders.


lacquer tray

DIA115xH65mm, Thailand

This curious circular lacquer tray has been a puzzle for me, I cannot figure out what was the original usage for such item.  The material of the tray is very delicate, made with paper and a semi transparent lacquer.

If anyone know of the origin and usage of this tray, please let me know!
Other unsolved mystery.

This is going to be my next Something Old Something New project, stay tune!
Previous items: Coconut Lid Containers, Lotus Leaf Vessel.

lacquer tray

lacquer tray

L320xW230xH75mm, China

The story depicted on this lacquer tray is from the same book, Jing Shi Tong Yan, as the Madame White Snake legend featured a couple of days earlier. The story about the flamboyant artist scholar Tong Yin; one day on a boating trip he sensed that a maid on another boat was smiling to him.  Electrified he ordered the boatman to followed the other boat and found out it belonged to the family of a court scholar.  Tong Yin disguised himself and applied for a job as a scholar assistant for the family and named himself Hau An.  Being over qualified for the job, he soon got promoted and trusted by the family and meanwhile he managed to find out the maid was called Qiu Xiang who directly serves the lady of the house.  The family wanted to promote Hau An as the person in charge but was weary of his single statue and suggested to arrange a marriage for him.  When Hau An found out about this, he proposed to pick one of maid as his wife.  The family agreed and on the same night, all the maids were there to be chosen but Hau An did not make a decision.  It turned out that Qiu Xiang was not there, the lady of the house then sermon her personal maid also to be present.  Hau An picked Qiu Xiang, married and lived happily ever after.

This story however, has nothing to do with the history of Tong Yin who got married three times; his first wife passed away at the age of 24, second wife left him and the third wife was a famous prostitute called Chen Jiu Niang.

go to 1 hour 23 minutes to see the same screen

DIA330mm, China

For those of us who grew up going to Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, eating out of the black / red shiny bento boxes is a norm, so much that it becomes a symbol in our mind.  But anyone ever wonder why there are so many black plastic containers?  They are actually a replica of the lacquer ware that would have been traditionally used.  Those are probably the closest some of us get to know of lacquer ware.

The making of lacquer ware is a laborious task of collecting urushiol from the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) and applying thin layers of lacquer over a form (in this case, wood), let dry, polish and apply again and again.  Here is a clip of Japanese lacquer tray making;

You will be surprised that the price of this handmade lacquer tray is not any more expensive than a good quality plastic one, and if you handle it with care (avoid soaking in water and the use of abrasive cleaner) it will last just as long.  Make this your first lacquer ware!

This item selected by Furze for the Something Old Something New exhibition and is available at both Mountain Folkcraft and Soil.


DIA330xH90mm, China

A beautiful lacquer serving dish which I found the colour to be warm and x’mas like, the same feeling as scent of the tangerine peels, the taste of cinnamon, the sound of church bells …

The dish is decorated with peony flowers, peony is also know as the flower of riches and honour 富貴花.  There is a story about peony and the mean Empress Wu Zetian, one snowy winter she summoned all the flowers to blossom for her morning wine party.  The gardeners as well as the plants did their best, going against the natural order they all blossomed in fear of the Empress, all but the peony.  The Empress was extremely upset and forbid peony to stayed in the capital Chang An, it was send to Luoyang. There in Luoyang, the peony blossoms filled the city.  When the Empress heard about the news, she ordered for the peony to be burnt, but under the warm of the heat, it blossomed even more.

Click for more information about the special construction of the dish.

Amongst the unique pottery, you will also find Mountain Folkcraft’s collection at the Cobo Ceramic Workshop X’mas Sale.

1/F Fortune Court, 33 Morrison Hill Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

5 – 9 Dec 2014 (Fri – Tue)


W200xL310xH20mm, Myanmar

According to Burmese astrology, there are eight days in a week. They are Sunday, Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday (till noon), Rahu (Wednesday afternoon till the next morning), Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Burmese people believe that the astrological day a person was born is a great determinant in his or her personality and life. For example, a person born on Monday would be jealous; on Tuesday. Honest; on Wednesday, short tempered but soon calm again; the trait being intensified on the so called eighth day of Rahu; on Thursday, mild; on Friday, talkative; on Saturday, hot tempered and quarrelsome; and on Sunday, miserly.

Burmese also believe that interpersonal relation between people is also determined by the day they were born. For example, Monday born and Friday born would not get along well while Monday born and Wednesday or Rahu (Wednesday evening) born would get along very well. At the pagodas in Myanmar, there are always eight planetary posts build into the pagoda structure, with the representative animal symbols, where the believers could donate offerings at their respective planets to influence the appropriate powers.

These astrological symbols are often depicted on traditional Burmese lacquerware. The lacquered tray shown here is decorated with brass wire and the symbols are delicately made by palm skin.

This is one of the many Burmese lacquer ware from the SOIL collection, come check it out at the Asian Folkcraft event on at Mountain Folkcraft!

dish with spoutDIA150xH40, China

A flat dish with a spout.

This is one of the items in the shop that I have problem finding out its use.

Spout – suggest the use for pouring out liquid, powder or beads?
Blue and white under glaze –  suggest a clear liquid (verse ink) so pattern can be appreciated?
Heavy & flat – suggest not intended to be handle often (unlike a teapot)?

If anyone has any idea how this item was intended to be used, please let me know!

If you are interested in solving puzzles, check out the other curious items; A Jade Tool, Paper Lacquered Tray.

Now back to the pattern; clouds and crane.  It is a popular ceramic pattern, it is believe that the crane is a mythical bird and symbolizes longevity.


W120xH410mm, China

At the hands of the master puppeteer, under the light a piece of leather would come to life so vividly that somethings even actor and actress can’t fill their place.

This shadow puppet is a female warrior, Dong Yue E, one of the warriors of the Yang family.  The wife of the third son, she is known for her skill in archery and her arrow would never miss a thing.

burmese betel boxDIA60xH50mm, Myanmar

For the first item of the Asian Folkcraft Collection, we have a miniature of Burmese’s traditional lacquer betel box from SOIL.

 Betel, tobacco and pickled tea is an expression in Burmese language that speaks of hospitality and welcomes a visitor to one’s home.

 The circular betel box at first glance, looks solid, but is in reality nicely fitted with a lid over a small container for holding betel nut. The top of the bowl is fitted with two shallow trays, one on top of the other. The upper tray has four little cups to hold ingredients for making betel nuts: cloves, cutch, and seeds, shredded wild Licorice or sweet creeper.

 In the second tray is a layer of dried tobacco leaves. Only when the tray is taken out of the main bowl are green fresh betel leaves revealed.