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.
[ Rossi & Rossi Ltd. , London, until 2002; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.

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