Laotian Frog Drum

By | June 5, 2013

by Roy Moffett
(Alta Loma CA USA)


My name is Roy Moffett. Our family lived in Vientiane Laos from 1957 through 1960. From 1960 to 1962, my mom and my 2 sisters and I lived in Bangkok while my dad stayed in Luang Prabang.

From 1962 to 1965, we lived in Pakse. During our sojourn, we acquired many Laotian memorabilia. In particular, for starters, I have an Asian Rain Drum similar to the ones you have displayed.

It is approximately 18 inches high and 25 inches in diameter. It has four sets of 3 stacked frogs on the top and four sets of three elephants on the side. I would estimate that it is at least 50 years old since we got it in the 60’s, but it may be much older. I’m wondering if you might know how to more accurately date it.

Also, I’m wondering if you might give me an estimate of value. I’ve seen prices from $1,000 to $1,200 and then one price of $6,000. I’m thinking of selling it and I’m hoping its a real antique.

Thanks, Roy

ps: We loved Thailand when we lived there in the 60’s. Most recently, we visited again in 2006. Spent time in Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakse, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok.

ps2: I can send pictures if that will help.

Comments for
Laotian Frog Drum

rain drum
by: veronica Sanchez

i also acquired a rain drum. brought in from chalong in the 1950’s not sure what to do with it. If its worth money i would love to sell it, if not its going in the back yard. not sure what or where to go. Can you tell by looking at it?


Veronica Sanches

Our Laotian Frog Drum
by: Kevin (Webmaster)

Hi Roy
Many thanks for stopping by our website & sharing your wonderful stories about your time in South East Asia.

Regarding the Laotian Frog Drum that you acquired on your extensive travels, as you have already ascertained vary in price considerably, albeit that most of the items sold as antiques are more likely than not replicas as they are of exceptional quality & made using all the original old fashioned methods!.

If you have an original frog drum and have any documentation or old photos of it, basically anything that can tie it down to the period you bought it, then take them all along to any reputable antiques dealer in your area to get an accurate appraisal of the frog drums value.

I have seen very similar genuine frog drums on reputable antique dealer websites with prices ranging from $5,000 up to $10,000 very much depending upon the quality & documentation supplied.

If you have chance, I would love to see a few photos of the frog drum…..I absolutely love them!.

Best Wishes