Ariadne

Pair of Belt Plaques
Period: Second to first century BC
Culture: Eurasian, North China
Material: Gilt bronze
Dimensions: 11.9 cm L x 6.1 cm W
 
Pair of Belt Plaques
Pair of Belt Plaques
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Pair of Belt Plaques
Pair of Belt Plaques
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These plaques depict a fantastic landscape within a twisted rope frame. Along the lower register, two small facing camels walk towards the centre of the plaque amid a landscape that has great depth of field, through the use of overlapping elements. Beyond the stylised trees, along the upper register, a row of six rams' heads are shown back-to-back. In the upper left and right hand corners, a small ram is shown with its hind legs kicking upwards. One of the plaques has a large perforation for fastening. On the reverse of each plaque are two loops for attachment. There are also traces of textile patterning through the use of a lost textile technique in their production. A related two-tone gilded bronze belt plaque in a private collection has wild boars rather than rams along the upper register, as well as an additional central mythical creature. 

Provenance

Private collection, New York, 1980s.
T. Pang, Treasures of the Eurasian Steppes: Animal Art from 800 BC to 200 AD, New York, 1998, no. 108.