Lot 70. Bronze Drum Head, Vietnam, Dong Son culture, ca. 500 BCE to 0 CE. Estimated Price: $900 – $1,200. Photo Artemis Gallery
Size: 13.75″ W x 13.75″ H (34.9 cm x 34.9 cm).
Provenance: Ex-private Southern California collection acquired in the 1990’s.
Note: This is a beautiful thin, round bronze drum head with a gorgeous blue-green patina — the bluer tones in the patina are caused by it having a relatively high percentage of tin in the alloy, which was probably done to influence the sound of the instrument. The designs on the drum head are centered around a large eight-pointed star/sun shape with line and circle designs in concentric bands around it. These decorative marks are found on many kinds of Dong San bronzes, including weapons. There are also four bronze appliques that are zoomorphically shaped. Dong Son drums have been found from around the Red River delta (where they were made) all the way south to Java and New Guinea, demonstrating a huge geographical trading spread. Famous examples of these drums include the Ngọc Lũ I drum, found southeast of Hanoi in 1893. The Dong Son (or Dongson, or Ðông Son) culture thrived in northern Vietnam and its burials, rich in bronze goods, demonstrate a high level of wealth relative to neighboring areas. This is a really beautiful and unique piece!