19th Century Burmese Kammavaca


An unbound nineteenth century Burmese prayer manuscript, or Kammavaca, each lacquered in red with elaborate overall decoration in gilt, the leaves with lines of black lacquer text in square script (known as 'magyi-zi), issued between a pair of red lacquered boards with overall decoration in gilt and inlaid in glass mosaic decoration. Measures: 23 x 5 ½ x 1 ¾ inches.

Burmese prayer manuscripts were commissioned as works of merit to be presented to the Monk hood when a son entered the Buddhist Order as a novice or when they become ordained as monk. Around the latter half of the seventeenth century, a square type of writing executed became the preferred script for Kammavaca, and gold leaf illustrations became popular.