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Javanese Talam

12-14th century

Talam or “taham” in old Javanese, were used as both offering trays and as platforms to place religious objects.

This example is of the East Javanese period, it has an attractive verdigris a characteristic developed when metallic objects are buried in acidic volcanic soil of Java. It is embellished with bands of interlaced lotus flower, possibly suggesting use in Shiva-worship (which was at its highpoint at this period). It is hand raised from a sheet of copper rather than cast.

Old Dutch collection label to the reverse reads: “This is a Talam. Which serves for ritualistic objects to be put on, among others a brahmanic priest bell and a holy water bowl. (Very old) antique.” Purchased in Indonesia on behalf of a private collection in The Hague 1970.

Directly related examples in the Rijksmuseum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

42 cm diameter

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