Manuscript storage chest, sadaik.
Teak wood, lacquer, metal hinges and lock set.
28 in. X 15.5 in. X 15.75 in.
Very good condition. The lid has been replaced over the years. Slight cracking of lacquer in one corner. Wood has a few dents due to usage.
Chest like this one are called sadaiks and are used in Burmese monasteries to store sacred Buddhist texts or manuscripts called kammavaca. Made of heavy teak wood and layered with natural lacquer for decoration and protection.
Thayo technique, made of thick black lac sap, thit si, and mixed with ash or ground cow bone, is used to create the 3-dimensional decorations on 3 sides of the chest. The mixture can be molded or rolled into malleable strings and applied by hand to make a raised design. The design area is then covered with the gold leaf typical in Burma.
Three central guardian figures brandishing swords are shown across the front and eight more smaller ones embedded into the vegetal vine decorating the border.
The lid has been replaced during its lifetime and has modern hinges. The small box that is used for the storage of page turning tools and other equipment is missing. Red lacquer covers the insides 3 walls. The back and floor are the natural worn teak wood.