Plaque with a Winged Horse, Gilt bronze, North China

東漢(鮮卑文化) 鎏金翼馬紋銅飾板
Plaque with a Winged Horse

Eastern Han dynasty (25–220), Xianbei culture
1st century
North China
Gilt bronze
H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); W. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
These plaques were created by (or for) the Xianbei, a nomadic people living in the steppes region of what is now Mongolia and northern China, who would later control a large part of northern China as the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). According to the dynastic history of the Wei, they were led into China by a mysterious animal spirit that was shaped like a horse and that bellowed like an ox.
[ L. Wannieck , Paris, until 1924; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.

Nara National Museum. "The Legend of Pegasus and the Silk Route," April 5, 2008–June 1, 2008.