The three heads on this rare plaque, with their long ears and striated manes are probably those of kulan, a type of wild ass which roamed over North China in ancient times. A similar gold roundel (4.8 cm. diam.), also cast with the heads of three kulan and inlaid in a similar manner with turquoise, is illustrated by Viktor Griessmaier, Sammlung Baron Eduard Von Der Heydt, Vienna, 1936, no. 67. The use of these heads as a decorative motif and their simplicity of design relate the appliques to pieces made in northern China, possibly Northeast China, for nomadic people.
A Technical Examination Report is available upon request.