Dông Son Breastplate

2 800,00

Dông Son culture
H. 15,5 cm

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This Dôngsonian square plate, dated from the 5th – 1st century BC, has a quite remarkable symmetrical decoration. Destined according to some archaeologists to protect the chest of warriors and according to others to indicate social rank, it is decorated with stylized motifs representing these famous boats typical of the Dông Son. Each boat carries feathered characters, seen in profile, which it is easy to assimilate to combatants. The prows are represented in the form of a zoomorphic figure and we can identify, between this one and the stern of each of the four boats, a bird.

Melted with lost wax and not made by repoussé (as it was believed for a long time), this plate was found among others in tombs in the region of the village of Dông Son, province of Thanh Hoa. The fact that they were discovered next to weapons makes it possible to assimilate them to male warrior attributes. The holes, visible at each angle of the plate, were used a priori to fix it on a war tunic, both element of prestige and prophylactic object. This plaque is in a remarkable state of conservation.
A similar model is illustrated and described in BARBIER-MUELLER, 2003, p.72. We can also refer to another chest plate presented in our Vietnam Bronzes catalog, the symbolism of emotion that comes from the Lan Huong Pham collection.


Provenance: Private collection.

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