Monday, 9 January 2012

Lacquer and Gold. Burmese manuscripts in Musee Guimet

Lacquer and Gold. Burmese manuscripts 
Musee Guimet, Paris 
From October 19th 2011 to January 23rd 2012

 The Musée Guimet presents for the first time an exceptional collection of manuscripts and artifacts preserved in Burmese collections. The exhibition, displayed in the historic library of the museum’s rotunda, will present gold lacquered books - kammavaca -, manuscripts written on olles (palm leaves) and ink-written works on traditional fan-fold paper - parabaik.

Kammavācā (detail) BG 83700-2 © RMN (musée Guimet, Paris)/Benjamin Soligny / Raphaël Chipault

Manuscript books were extensively used until the late nineteenth century to record both religious and secular literature, or horoscope books, medical and pharmaceutical treaties, archival documents or official records, public or private. A plan of the ancient city of Ava, former longtime capital of the country, a nineteenth century teak model of a large religious building from the Mandalay area, and an amazing astrological chart incised in an ivory tusk, will complete the exhibition.

Model of the monastery of the Queen (Mya Taung Kyung), Mandalay, 1881-1885 (?)MG 26320 © RMN (musée Guimet, Paris)/Benjamin Soligny / Raphaël Chipault

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