A VERY RARE GILT-BRONZE FELINE-FORM ORNAMENT
A VERY RARE GILT-BRONZE FELINE-FORM ORNAMENT

NORTH CHINA, 1ST-2ND CENTURY AD

Details
A VERY RARE GILT-BRONZE FELINE-FORM ORNAMENT
NORTH CHINA, 1ST-2ND CENTURY AD
The finely cast feline is shown gracefully prowling with head turned to the side and right fore-paw raised, the end of the tail hidden behind the right rear paw. Two pins project from the almost flat reverse.
4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm.) long, box
Provenance
Private collection, France, before 1945.
The Erwin Harris Collection, Miami, Florida, before 1969.
Literature
J. F. So and E. C. Bunker, Traders and Raiders on China's Northern Frontier, Washington D.C., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1995, pp. 155-56, no. 77, and cover.

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Lot Essay

The animated pose of this prowling feline ornament can be seen in a bronze belt hook depicting a prowling feline, of similar date, illustrated by J. F. So and E. C. Bunker, Traders and Raiders on China's Northern Frontier, 1995, p. 155, no. 76. A dragon that forms another bronze belt hook, of Western Han date, that also exhibits the same graceful, yet powerful, pose seen in the present ornament, is illustrated in Ancient Chinese Arts in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1989, pl. 231. The placement of the rear two legs and feet, and the manner in which the tail curves downward are very similar between the two.

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