Lot 23 of 196:
Burmese Kamawa-sa or Burmese Manuscript, prior to WWII  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$960
$800 - $1,200

Burmese Kamawa-sa or Burmese Manuscript


Burma [Myanmar]


No date


The Kamawa-sa has 16 unbound pages, made from four folded layers of cotton or chintz cloth, coated with layers of orange-red lacquer, which is hardened into a firm yet plaint surface. Each side has about six lines of text, written in thick black lacquer in a square script called "magi-zi" (tamarind seed). The intervening lines are embellished with little birds, animals and foliage rendered in gold leaf. The first and last pages of the text have wider margins, occupied by panels showing celestial beings. The Kamawa-sa has lacquered wooden covers, embellished with gilded relief patterns inlaid with colored glass. The manuscript is wrapped in cloth, a "sa-htok hap-wa" of imported velvet, and bound with a woven "sa-su-gyo", ribbon.

The Kamawa-sa contains extracts from the Pali Vinaya pertaining to the conduct, ordination and investiture of monks and is one of the most beautiful of Burmese manuscripts. They were commissioned as works of merit on the occasion of a son entering the monk hood, and because of their sacred nature no expense was spared to make them objects of great beauty. It has not been possible to offer a date with certainty, other than it was certainly produced prior to World War II and was obtained from a monastery in the Pagan area of Burma a number of years ago.

Lot Amendments

A few places with loss of gilt, light overall wear, cloth and ribbon a bit faded, some staining to verso of cloth; near fine

Item number:
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