Dông Son bronze situla
Dông Son culture (7th century BC – 2nd century AD)
The shape of this situla, “thàp” in Vietnamese, is typical of the Dông Son culture. The Dông Son culture was identified as early as 1924, thanks in particular to Louis Pajot’s excavations at the eponymous site of Dông Son, in the Thanh Hoa province, located in northern Vietnam. Mainly located in the valleys of the Red River, the Ma River and the Cà River, it developed from at least 600 BC a very sophisticated bronze metallurgy, which is expressed in weapons, vessels of various forms as well as drums.
This situla presents a great variety of friezes and decorative motifs with a succession of vertical hatching and crossed lines. A beautiful green patina underlines the harmony of the piece. Situlas are, along with drums, the most representative objects of the Dong Son culture. They were mainly used to hold drinks and everyday objects. The largest ones could also be used as funeral urns.
Provenance: Private collection.