Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cap-Shaped Plaque with Lion

Period of Tibetan Empire
7th–9th century
China (Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Central Asia)
H. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm); Diam. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
The nomadic communities of Central Asia used such plaques to embellish clothing and horse trappings. As these nomadic cultures herded animals and were constantly moving, their artistic production was expressed in portable objects that marked the wearer’s status and wealth. The outstanding preservation of these fragile ornaments suggests they were used in conjunction with burials, where the body was aggrandized with valuable textiles and augmented with gold. Although it is difficult to date and place these objects geographically, their presence in Central Asia and has a long, established history.
Related Objects

Dish in the Shape of a Leaf

Date: late 7th–early 8th century Medium: Silver with parcel gilding Accession: 1974.268.11 On view in:Gallery 207

Arm Band with Man's Head

Date: first quarter of the 10th century Medium: Gold Accession: 1992.199 On view in:Gallery 247

Buddha Maitreya (Mile)

Date: dated 524 Medium: Gilt bronze Accession: 38.158.1a–n On view in:Gallery 207

Stem Cup

Date: 7th–9th century Medium: Gold with repoussé decoration Accession: 2002.19 On view in:Not on view

Decorative Plaques for Leather Belt

Date: 8th century Medium: Gilt bronze Accession: 19.123a–e On view in:Gallery 207