UH80072: Frog Drum

UH80072: Frog Drum

Antique Burmese Bronze Rain drum late 19th century Shan Burmese Bronze Drum cast for the Karen, 19th century Three Frog Drum Bronze , Burma, late 19th century Bronze Rain Drum with triple stacked frogs on the tympanum Burmese Bronze drum tympanum, 16 incised bands within three separating ripples Shan Burmese cast bronze frog drum for the Karen of Southeast Asia Lost wax cast Asian bronze drum, with decoration, 19th century Developmental Stage VII, Aerial Sequence, Category C three frogs Heger Type III Asian Bronze percussion drum, Burma 19th century Developmental Stage VII, Aerial Sequence, Category C Richard Cooler Three Frogs, Three Elephants, Three Snails, Bronze Burmese drum Bronze Rain Drum, Frog Drum, cire perdue, lost wax cast

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Name: Timothy Mertel
Company: L'Asie Exotique
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Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a fine large bronze tribute drum (Heger Type III), Pazi  (Burmese), pam klo’ (Karen) also known as “The Magical Bronze Pond”(Cooler - Developmental Stage VII, Aerial Sequence, Category C three frogs, p.276)*, the Karen subsiding on slash and burn agriculture were rain dependent, and “rain drums” were beaten to bring on the rains for frogs croak prior to rain and the low frequency drum sounds excite the frogs to croak as well, and thus it was believed that the beating of the drum was a call for rain.

This lost wax casting of a drum is ornamented with 12 frogs stacked in threes located at four equidistant points on the outer edge of the tympanum wherein the bottom frogs straddle the two outer bands. The center of the tympanum is decorated with a crisp 12 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, the star points touch the first set of triple ridges resembling ripples that delineate concentrically the 16 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, starting from the center the designs can be identified as tiny raindrops (bands 1,2,7,9,13,14) radial rays (bands 3,6), chain of grain (bands 4, 10), flying birds in flocks of three alternating with sets of three rhomboid lozenges (bands 5,11,12), skyward looking ducks (band 8),  trellis (band 15) and the outer band undecorated (band 16) ending with one raised ridge and a braided edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with sets of triple ridges in 3 zones with 17 die cast bands in between of radial rays, raindrops, chain of grain and vegetal stalks, side double strap handles on opposing sides, used to suspend the drum when struck, four relief “seams” equidistant from the placement of the frogs. Under one handle along the seam is three dimensional  procession lead down the side of the drum by a large elephant followed by two smaller elephants, followed by three snails. 
Variegated verdigris greenish bronze patina.

Condition: Fine casting overall  with light die cast detail, evidence of interior “tuning”, the body is thin and there is evidence of later fine restorations to possible tears or holes, most of which are under the opposing handle from thehandle with the  procession underneath it, otherwise the overall surface patina is consistent with age and use,  fine condition. 
Measuring: 19-1/2 inches high x 25 inches in diameter.  
Weight: 38.5 lbs.
Late 19th. Century.

Private collection, New Jersey.

"The Magic Pond"
Karen Poem:
Rains come when frogs croak
Birds come when rains come
Fish rise when birds come
Floods come when fish rise
Elephants draw when floods come
Timber comes when elephants draw
The land prospers when timber comes.*

*Dr. Richard Morrall Cooler, The Karen Bronze Drums of Burma: The Magic Pond, A Thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 29, 1979.
Estimated Packaged weight 48.00 lbs

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Price: $6900.00


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