Dông Son Rain Drum
Dông Son culture (7th century BC – 2nd century AD)
H. 35 cm / D. 49 cm
This superb drum with its magnificent green patina is without a doubt the most outstanding object of the Dông Son culture. The centre of its plateau bears aseven-point star, in relief, which corresponds to the area which the drummer struck and also symbolised the sun. Chevrons and dotted circles ornament the plateau. On wider concentric bands stylised birds are found, as well as stylised feathered warriors. The outer edge of the plateau is composed of geometrical motifs that are typical of Dông Son culture. The body of the drum presents three sections, including a flaring base, a median zone with straight sides and a convex upper section called a torus. Traditional geometrical ornaments decorate the body of the object except for the foot, that has no decoration. Four handles are attached to the torus and the middle section of the drum.
Identified in 1924, the Dông Son culture was named after a site on the banks of the Red River where its first traces were discovered at least 600 years BCE. Highly sophisticated bronze casting skills were developed, mostly for the creation of drums, recipients, arms and ornaments. People of the Dông Son culture placed great importance in rites and ceremonies, and most burial objects had both a practical function and a ritualistic symbolism. Clear proof of cultural and economic exchanges, Dông Son art not only influenced the Chinese provinces on which it bordered, but also a wide geographic zone that included Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia up to the eastern Sunda Islands.This Dông Son culture progressively morphed into Vietnamese art with Chinese tendencies, called Giao-Chi (or Han-Viet) as of the 1st century AD.
We carried out an x-ray analysis (CIRAM N° 1107-OA-04B-32) to confirm the dating and an excellent state of conservation.
For a similar object, consult Viêt Nam, collection vietnamienne from the musée Cernuschi, under the supervision of Monique CRICK, p. 36, Suilly-La-Tour, 2006, or the catalogue of the Baur collection, Art ancien du Viêt Nam, bronzes et céramiques, Milan, 2008.
Provenance: Private collection