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Talam or “taham” in old Javanese, was an important part of pre–Islamic Javanese Hindu/Buddhist religious ritual. They were used as both offering trays and 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 Brahminic 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.