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  • Thumbnail for Bronze bowl
    Bronze bowl

    Signs of the zodiac. This is a vessel for sacred liquids prepared and used in Hindu Tantric ritual. In the interior bottom is a strange, quasi-anthropomorphic (phallic?) figure. It appears to have a Kadiri inscription of 4 characters above the sign for Sagittarius. Mummy-like anthropomorphs are repeated above the zodiac, interspersed with figures in the so-called East Javanese Wayang style. This is a very old and significant ritual object. The figures on the surface are ancestral to the Wayang Kulit puppets in the Dickinson collection. At one time it would have had a lid. An almost identical piece, with lid, is published among the national treasures of Indonesia's National Museum in Art of Indonesia: Pusaka, H. Soebadio (ed), 1992, page 114).