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Tiger bells in South East Asia


Tiger bells are of the smaller A type, B type and an alternative tiger bell.

Eight tiger bells, type A, in a bundle, probably used as a rattle. The bells are more or less similar to the A bell bells from Vietnam. Part of a musical ensemble.

Bundle of tiger bells, the photograph is not clear but the bells are definitely
tiger bells (author's observation)

In the National Museum of Thailand, Bangkok (display nr. 18, 1986).

One bell, of the smaller type A. From Rangoon, used by an ensemble of street musicians.
In the National Museum of Thailand, Bangkok (1984, not on display in 1986).

One bell, type A. No further details available. Reported by Elisabeth den Otter, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Group: Unknown, probably common

One bell type A, together with three ordinary bells, in a wooden yak bell.

Yak bell from Burma

Three of the four bells in the yak bell. The bell on the right is the tiger bell.

All bells are heavily worn and roughly made. Dimensions: wide 3 cm., high 2,6 cm., side 2 cm, hoop 0,7 cm. with the hole off center. Author's collection, bought in 1989.

In the collection of Prof. Ovidiu Oana: one alternative tiger bell. He describes:

  • Bronze tiger bell, type D without WANG symbol
  • Bell Hanger: 0,6 cm; 0,236 inches
  • Ø1: 2,4 cm; 0,945 inches
  • Ø2: 2,0 cm; 0,787 inches
  • Country of origin: Myanmar
  • Acquisition as antique from Slovacia

No further details are known. The bell is identical (although smaller) to a bell from China, a new bell bought in New York and a bell reported in Korea.

Group: unknown, common

Two tiger bells type B, bought by Marco Hadjidakis (December 2010). He reports:

These bells are from Burma. The dimensions are:

Bell left: 6.0 x 4.7 x 4.3 cm.
Bell right: 5.6 x 4.8 x 4.4 cm

In the 90's an Austrian antique dealer bought them in Burma. Their shape resembles Nepalese bells. The characters are Chinese.

These are type B tiger bells as seen in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia.

As on many type B tiger bells we see the circular character for 'long life'. Photographs: courtesy Marco Hadjidakis who also contributed pictures of bells from Mongolia and an alternative bell from China.


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