Lot 1284: Chinese Ordos Large Harness Buckle Plate with Stand
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 6th-2nd century BC. A large bronze harness buckle in the shape of a quadruped beast, jaws open and grasping a deer in its mouth; raised relief eye and curling tail; to the back a stag with elaborate antlers running along the back; mounted on a custom-made stand. 1747 grams, 26cm including stand (10 1/4"). Property of a London collector; by inheritance from his grandfather; acquired during travels in the Far East in the 1920s. The Ordos culture emerged in the Eurasian steppes north of the Great Wall of China, in the vast expanse of grasslands that stretches from Siberia into Central Europe. By the first millennium B.C., material prosperity among the nomads had brought about a flowering of creativity and the evolution of a new artistic vocabulary. The pastoral peoples left no written record, but the artefacts that remain provide a key to understanding their culture and beliefs. Beautifully crafted and highly sophisticated and abstract in design, these objects are visual representations of the natural and supernatural worlds that guided their lives. An equestrian people, the nomads produced many objects associated with horses and the paraphernalia of riding. These were embellished primarily with animal motifs. The figures that populate these small objects?ibex and hedgehogs, deer and camels, griffins and dragons?at time exhibit violence and aggression, at times an appealing charm, but always spirit and vitality. This animal style would remain a significant source of inspiration in the decorative arts of the Eurasian continent for centuries to come. The artistic exchange between the pastoral peoples and their settled Chinese neighbours through trade, migration, marriage alliances, and warfare contributed to the cultural development of both groups.
Condition Report: Fine condition.