Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Bronze Temple Bell with Figural Holding Ring

Bronze Temple Bell with Figural Holding Ring


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Metalwork: Pre 1900: Item # 882912

Please refer to our stock # 64-06 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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PO Box 2175
Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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 $695.00 
A large 19th century bronze bell from Burma has a tall holding ring with legendary figures from Burmese Buddhist iconography—kinnari, half man/half bird creatures, and manok-thi-ha, half man/half lion sphinx-like images. Two kinnari stand with their large wings spread upward to create the form of the tall spire. Two manok-thi-ha (also called manushi or manuthiha or a number of other names derived from the Sanskrit words “manu” for man and “simha” for lion) crouch with their backs supporting the kinnari spire. According to Burmese art scholar Sylvia Fraser-Lu in her book “Burmese Crafts Past and Present,” published by Oxford University Press in 1994, in her discussion of temple bells on page 133, such embellishments to temple bells were introduced during the reign of King Min-din (1853-1878). Since then, all manner of creatures from Burmese Buddhist legends—garuda, hintha, naga and others—grace temple bells and their handles. Such elaborately done holding rings are made of iron rather than bronze, which accounts for the difference in the ways age affects the metal surface of the holding rings. The bells themselves, as this one, are always made of bronze, which Burmese metal artisans expertly craft to produce fine tones. This bell has a nice lasting tone produced either by its clapper or by hitting the side lightly with a hardwood striker. Bells are central to Burmese Buddhist life, and usually have been donated to the temples by the faithful as an important meritorious act. This bell from the late 19th century is in very good condition with the expected oxidation to the iron of the holding ring. Also, one of the hanger pin caps is missing. Dimensions: height 14 ¾” (38 cm), diameter 6” (15 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM