This very large lacquer tray from the Shan minority people in northeast Burma has four different patterns of basketry weaving showing through the rich persimmon-colored lacquer. Called byat, such handmade trays, used for serving food, were time-consuming to produce. Following the weaving process, each of the many successive applications of lacquer required several days of drying, then burnishing before the next coat of lacquer was applied. Tin trays were replacing these handmade ones a number of years ago and, more recently, tin is being replaced in a growing number of households with plastic trays coming in from China. This early 20th century byat has four low feet that are cleverly woven into the circular piece and show on the inside tray surface as four deep dimples. The woven split bamboo base is sealed with black lacquer, which shows handsomely through the top coats of red lacquer. This is a beautifully constructed piece in a glowing color. It is in excellent condition. Dimensions: diameter 18” (46 cm), height 5” (13 cm).