Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Belt Plaque with Confronted Bovines

Date:
2nd–1st century B.C.
Culture:
North China
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.201.120
Not on view
The Metropolitan Museum collection contains pieces of metalwork created by the nomadic peoples who lived on and beyond ancient China’s northern and northwestern borders during the first millennium B.C. A salient feature of this nomadic art is the naturalistic detail and vitality of the animal imagery that is the subject of most of these jewel-like artworks. This is well represented in a belt plaque that depicts two confronting bulls poised as if ready to fight. Such portable artworks were intended to highlight the wealth and status of the owner.

[Zhixin Jason Sun, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Orientations, March 2015]
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