About Our Products
The earliest known example of lacquerware
in Burma is thought to have originated from the 13th Century AD,
although it is widely believed that the lacquerware industry did
not develop in Burma until either the 14th or 15th Centuries.
For more than 300 years the art of making lacquerware
has been one of the major crafts of Burma. Not only was it used
by Royalty and in Buddhist religious ceremonies, but lacquer objects
were used daily by ordinary people, and continue to be so until
this day, for food & drink, cosmetics, flowers, and as general
storage vessels; as well as being applied to hats, umbrellas, and
The reason for the popularity of lacquerware through
the years is due to it being light, waterproof, and more importantly,
strong. Lacquer can be applied to wood, bamboo, paper, fabric, metal,
and even stone.
Whereas the production of lacquerware in many
countries has become more mass-produced, in Burma it is still carried
out in the time-old ways, by true artisans in small workshops. Burmese
lacquerware is still as functional as it ever was, and the rich
colours which are applied to the surface blend perfectly in western
home settings, both modern and more traditional.
The new designs and pieces which Images
of Asia commissions are mainly based
on traditional shapes - be it a bowl, a water pot or a rice container
- and then finished in plain, but striking, colours. All items are
washable in luke-warm water; and although they are waterproof, to
ensure long-life we would not recommend they be filled with water
for long periods unless a glass liner is used.
Lacquerware & Arts
Images of Asia
also stocks a selection of decorative Burmese lacquerware and arts
both old and new. The new lacquerware Buddhas and Buddha heads are
still made using the same techniques as have been applied since
the advent of lacquerware in Burma. We guarantee that any item sold
as an antique is so to the best of our knowledge. Having travelled
extensively in the country for some 10 years now, the founder has
become quite a specialist in both lacquerware and Burmese Buddha
images, and can usually spot the tell-tale signs of the ubiquitous
"fakes" which have flooded the marketplace - and is in
some cases personally acquainted with the people making those fakes.
We are not afraid to label "reproductions" as such. In
many instances these reproductions have been made using the same
techniques and materials as the originals of their day, so as such
are also works of art.
In 2002 we entered into an agreement with
one of the foremost galleries in Myanmar for both established and
new artists using a variety of mediums - oil, water-colour, acrylic,
pencil, and pastels. Some of the artists have already exhibited
overseas, mainly in Singapore, but also in Thailand, China, Korea,
Japan, Australia; and now, due to new interest, in Ireland.
Images of Asia
is pleased to introduce a high-end range of garden statuary, all
based on Hindu, Khmer, Burmese and Thai Buddhas; Gods; and other
images. The statues and panels, hand-carved in top quality sandstone
or marble by master craftsmen, are based on examples from ancient
temples around Asia - notably Angkor Wat, Bagan, Borobodur, etc.
All pieces are carved using the same techniques
as the originals upon which they are modelled. Being crafted from
natural stone the pieces are all guaranteed weather-resistant for
many hundreds of years, but will look equally exquisite either indoors
or outdoors, in a garden or a home setting. These pieces will become
the antiques of the future.
The section specialising in Thai mangowood products, mainly small
homeware and giftware items, but also lamps, has proved most popular.
Mangowood is sustainable and eco-friendly and our stocks come from
one factory who buy from privately-owned mango orchards.
Taiwanese, Burmese, Vietnamese, & Indonesian
Puppets & Marionettes
The history of puppetry in most countries
is a long and fascinating one. In Taiwan, Burma, Vietnam and Indonesia
it has evolved for vastly different reasons and in very different
forms. All the puppets on sale are made by traditional artisans
and have fully-moveable parts. Unless otherwise stated they are
the real product, not copies made for tourists.
Vietnamese lacquerware has in recent years
become very popular worldwide. Although we do not believe it now
to be as strong and resilient as Burmese, due to the appeal of its
vibrant range of colours and finishes we do commission certain higher
quality pieces to complement the range and appeal of our collection.
We are happy to assist, wherever possible,
with sourcing other items, old or new, to order. Please contact
us for details.