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Christophe Hioco

Situla
Vietnam
Dông Son Culture (5th-1st BCE)
bronze
H: 25 cm

This situla (thap), typically Dông Son and in perfect condition, offers a very interesting central frieze of animals. Here once again, the Dông Son bronze smiths drew inspiration from the natural environment. Thus, the frieze comports a rare representation of two groups of your young deer, a stag and a doe, separated by three pelicans, This bird is found on several pieces presented in this catalogue, which is not surprising, given its abundance in times gone by in the delta of the Red River, cradle of the Dông Son culture. It is associated with the cultivation of rice, often visiting flooded paddies and feeding on fish trapped by the rising water-level of rivers. The central frieze is completed, on the upper and lower parts of the situla, by two double friezes, decorated by hatching. This situla has two simple handles with double spiral motifs engraved on their bases. The traces of joints on the piece show that the craftsman used a bivalve mould into which he poured the liquid bronze all at once in accordance with the lost wax technique. The presence of a lid is not always attested to, but the slight rim on the neck shows that there must surely have been one at the outset.

Provenance: Lan Huong Pham Collection.

all text, images Christophe Hioco

 

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