A very rare early bronze drum with superb quality engravings and a fine thick enamel patina, Karen Tribe, Burma/Northern Thailand, 15th.-16th. century.
The really old and fine style drums like this are very rare and in higher demand and many collectors also choose to use them as coffee tables.
A beautiful drum with the early type of single Frogs on the Tympanum along with fine representations of fishes and birds and other types of decoration.
Size: 57 cm. wide in diameter of the Tympanum, the drum is ca. 44 cm. high.
The Karen, numbering approximately two million on the Burmese side, with a further 200,000 in Thailand, include sub-groups such as the Skaw, the Pwo and Kayah. As with most hill tribes of Southeast Asia, their origins are obscure. Karen legends point to the upper reaches of the Huang Ho river in China as a possible centre of origin, from which they migrated south-ward via Yunnan into Burma around A.D. 600-700. They are traditional slash and burn agriculturalists and formerly lived a longhouse way of life. As animists, they believed in Nats, spirits that reside in rocks, trees, water and other objects. At times these spirits might prove dangerous, and to ensure that all went well, they had to be regularly propitiated with sacrifices, offerings and taboos. Throughout their little known and largely conjectural history, the Karens have always regarded the frog drum as their most precious possession, believing that ownership bestowed the triple boons of wealth, status and security on those fortunate enough to own one.
Condition: Choice, wonderful uncleaned condition with thick enamel patina, attesting it's uniqueness compared to the many much later and even modern drums that has overflooded the market in the recent years.
Ex. Old Danish Collection