This type of hat ornament was popular from the end of the Eastern Han until the Sui Dynasty. Compare with the one sold in our London Rooms, 8 June 1987, lot 217. An example can be seen in the Portraits of Thirteen Emperors by Yan Liben at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, on the portrait of Sui Wendi, the first Sui Emperor; another comparable example at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is illustrated by Annette L. Juliano, Art of the Six Dynasties, China House Gallery/China Institute in America, Exhibition, 1975/76, p. 32, p. 110, which is dated to the fourth or fifth Century.
A less elaborate type is illustrated by Chang Lin Sheng, Chinese Fine Gold Craftsmanship, National Palace Museum Monthly, Chinese Art, May 1984, pp. 49, 50, pls. 17 & 22; another at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated by Singer, Early Chinese Gold and Silver, no. 27, p. 30; the Sackler Collection example, illustrated by American Heritage, Arts of China, p. 275; the examples from the Museum Yamato Bunkakan illustrated in mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. II, p. 45, fig. 77; and yet another excavated at Dunhuang from an earlier Qin grave which is datable to A.D. 369. This technique of working gold was also used in Korea, see McCune, The Arts of Korea, pp. 42-43 for a particularly fine buckle found near Lolang.