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Antique bronze Burmese Rain (Frog) Drum 

Burma (modern day Myanmar), late 19th to early 20th century CE. A fabulous small bronze drum known as a Rain Drum or Frog Drum, with an impressive decorative program and rich iconography. The tympanum caps the hollow cylindrical and waisted body with two flanking handles beneath the rim. The tympanum is adorned with 5 engraved concentric patterned circles surrounding a central eight-pointed star, with four frogs positioned equidistantly around the rim. Around the body of the drum are additional intricate engraved decorations and rosettes. 

Drums like this example are sometimes referred to as frog  or rain drums and have been used in Southeast Asian cultural rituals for hundreds of years. In particular, the Karen people of Thailand and Burma (modern day Myanmar) have used such drums in funerary rituals to assist the deceased as they journey to the afterlife and in ceremonies to inspire spirits to bring about rainfall, hence the name Karen Rain Drum. The strap handles would have suspended the drum from a frame or tree limb with the tympanum facing horizontally outward at a 45 degree angle, and a padded mallet was used to strike the drum.


Imperfections from casting. Some softening of details, but most on tympanum are well preserved. Surface pitting and light mineral deposits. Rich patina.


  • Country: Burma (present day Myanmar)
  • Region: Mandalay 
  • Material: Aged Brass 
  • Dimensions: 16.2cm Diameter Tympanum x 12 cm Diameter Base x 12cm H     
  • Weight: 1.77kg


16.0W x 16.0D x 12.0H