There was probably once a vast repertoire of zoomorphic bronze utensils such as this, but because of the Chams' turbulent history, surviving examples are rare. The Chams used elephants in battles and ceremonies, and also supplied elephants to the Chinese for imperial processions. This sharply observed piece demonstrates once again the use of bronze prototypes for ceramic traditions; the subject is popular as a ceramic form throughout mainland Southeast Asia.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.298.
Vessel in the form of an elephant and riders
13th century-14th century
21.0 x 16.5 x 9.5 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Goldie Sternberg Southeast Asian Art Purchase Fund 1998
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
The connoisseur and the philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg Collection of Chinese Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jan 2014–27 Apr 2014
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–13 Mar 2016
Referenced in 4 publications
Ann Proctor, Bon Mau Co Ban - Four Colours., Analysis and discussion of selected works from AGNSW, 'Cham Elephant - Vietnam', pg. 5-8, Sydney, Feb 2003, 5 (colour illus.), 6-8. section 4
Wendy Symonds (Editor), Look, 'The Centre for Asian Art Studies', pg. 25, Heidelberg, Sep 1998, 25 (colour illus.).
Bon Mau Co Ban - Four Colours. Vietnamese Art Case Study, Sydney, Feb 2003, not paginated, (colour illus.). section 5
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 298 (colour illus.).