• Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work auction at Christies

    Sale 2297

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    26 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1287

    A RARE GOLD FITTING WITH GLASS INLAY

    WARRING STATES PERIOD, 5TH-3RD CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    A RARE GOLD FITTING WITH GLASS INLAY
    WARRING STATES PERIOD, 5TH-3RD CENTURY BC
    The tubular fitting terminating in a dragon head with ridged snout and a scrolling mane on either side trailing backwards from the curved brows set above glass-inlaid eyes, with a small blue glass bead on the top of the head and a loose, twisted ring pendent from the mouth, the remains of an iron core visible at the opposite end which is encircled by a double bow-string band
    3 in. (7.6 cm.) long, ring 1½ in. (3.9 cm.) diam., box
    Wt. 90.8 g.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    A pair of gold dragon-head fittings of this type without loose rings, excavated between 1974-78 from the 4th century BC Warring States tomb of King Cuo, at Lingshou, the ancient capital of the State of Zhongshan in present-day Pingshan county, in Hebei province, is illustrated by Han Wei and Christian Deydier, Ancient Chinese Gold, Paris, 2001, p. 53, no. 87, where they are described as chariot fittings. The eyes of the dragons are in silver which would have surrounded pupils inlaid in stones or glass, similar to the glass inlaid pupils of the present dragon head. The sides and front of the mouth of the excavated fittings are hollow indicating that they may have suspended a ring of some kind. See, also, the pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze fittings of this type with dragon-head terminals dated 4th-3rd century BC illustrated by C. Delacour, De bronzes, d'or et d'argent: Arts somptuaires de la Chine, Musée Guimet, Paris, 2001, pp. 145-7. A loop at the front of the jaws is formed by the curved body of a raptor.

    A Technical Examination Report is available upon request.

    Provenance

    Alice Boney, New York, 1953.