14.5 x 14.9cm width blade
Finely cast in good-quality dark green alloy, this axe head is decorated in hollow relief on both sides. The stylised animal, fish and bird motifs are typical of the Dong Son decorative repertoire. On one side along the edges the stylised shapes of two confronting crocodiles frame a squid motif (at the top) and two long beaked aquatic birds standing in a fish-filled pond (bottom). The other side depicts two confronting dragon-like animals above two humped bulls and a man. While similarly shaped battle axes have been found throughout maritime Southeast Asia, the quality and elaborate decoration on this piece indicate it was a ritual object, probably part of the grave goods of a community leader.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.298.
'Collections', pg. 15-19., Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1998 1998, 1998, 18 (colour illus.).
Bon Mau Co Ban - Four Colours. Vietnamese Art Case Study Feb 2003, Feb 2003, not paginated, (colour illus.). section 5
Analysis and discussion of selected works from AGNSW, 'Dongson Style Battle Axe - Vietnam' by Ann Proctor, pp. 9-11, Bon Mau Co Ban - Four Colours. Feb 2003, Feb 2003, 9 (colour illus.), 10-11. section 4
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 298 (colour illus.).