This year's Lunar New Year celebrations and articles reminded me of the of altars and offering bowls I have in the shop. A relatively small collection, these finely-crafted altars have wonderfully detailed carvings and gorgeous patinas and textures. It gives us a glimpse to where these treasured objects have traveled. Each one worn away differently by age and time, they are now all truly one-of-a-kind.
The rarest altar and one of my absolute favorites is the Buddhist Shrine
shown above. Almost all Buddhist homes in Burma contain a hpaya-zin
, a small shrine placed on the eastern wall of the house. These shrines house an image of the Buddha where members of the household perform their daily devotions. Made of thickly lacquered and gilded wood, this shrine contains a tooled reflective tin interior with “jewels” which are pieces of cut glass. I have two shrines, one which went directly into my personal collection. The other shrine will be available through The Loaded Trunk
soon (if you sign up for our email list
, I'll let you know when that happens!).