| Ceremonial urn or flask

Late Bronze Age
collected Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia

Ceremonial urn or flask 1st-3rd century
74.0 (h) x 45.8 (w) x 20.5 (d) cm
Musée Barbier Mueller, Geneva
© Musée Barbier-Mueller Photograph: Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet


Elegant bronze urns or flasks have been found in Sumatra, Madura and Borneo, as well as in Thailand and Cambodia. While their function is no longer clear, they appear to be the products of local workshops rather than the earlier trade from Dong Son sites in Vietnam. The bulging bodies of the hollow vessels are always embellished with large spiral patterning within triangular borders. This flask also features long-necked birds and deer with extended antlers and penises, motifs reminiscent of Dong Son metalwork.

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