TWO GILT-BRONZE RECTANGULAR BELT BUCKLE PLAQUES
TWO GILT-BRONZE RECTANGULAR BELT BUCKLE PLAQUES

NORTH CHINA, 3RD-2ND CENTURY BC

Details
TWO GILT-BRONZE RECTANGULAR BELT BUCKLE PLAQUES
NORTH CHINA, 3RD-2ND CENTURY BC
The plaques are cast in mirror image, each with a complex, dense design of a wolf, its large head facing the inner edge and its two paws visible at the bottom edge either side of two argali rams, their bodies curved backwards and their hind legs slung over their heads, all below a narrow row of gazelle heads and a narrow band of eared raptor heads at the edge. Each has two vertical loops on the reverse and one has a hole.
3 ¾ and 3 ½ in. (9.5 and 9 cm.) wide, box
Provenance
Pierced plaque: J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 3 October 1990.
Other: Acquired in Paris, 1994.
The Erwin Harris Collection, Miami, Florida.
Literature
J. F. So and E. C. Bunker, Traders and Raiders on China's Northern Frontier, Washington D.C., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1995, p. 143, no. 63.

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Lot Essay

An almost identical plaque found at Xichagou, Xifeng, Liaoning province, is illustrated by E. C. Bunker et al., Ancient Bronzes of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1997, p. 78, fig. A110. See, also, the pair of similar plaques, one also with a hole, illustrated by E. C. Bunker et al., Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2002, p. 100, no. 67. A woven pattern on the reverse of all of these plaques indicates they were made using the lost-wax/lost-textile process.

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