Garment hook (daigou) with dragon and raptor heads, and two deer

The gilded and sharply convoluted surface of this lute-shaped belt hook portrays a dragon with a large lupine-head and spiral horns facing the dragon-head hook. Turquoise accents its eyes and forehead. A smaller raptorlike head, its sharp beak as if gripping the gilded frame for the pale, yellowish white jade ring in the center, occupies the opposite end. Turquoise cabochons are inlaid into its forehead and cheeks. In its claws are the twisted hindquarters of two does, whose heads appear on opposite sides of the jade ring. Turquoise also accents each doe’s head. A rusty brown, blue, and white glass bead fills the perforated center of the jade. The thick gold cover wraps around the edge of the belt hook on to the underside. The button is missing.

Historical period(s)
Late Warring States period, Late Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. late 4th-early 3rd century BCE
Medium
Gilt cast bronze, inaid with turquoise, jade, and glass
Dimensions
H x W x D: 14.2 x 5.8 x 2.9 cm (5 9/16 x 2 5/16 x 1 1/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.436
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork
Type

Garment hook

Keywords
black and white inlay, casting, China, deer, dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), gilding, inlay, Warring States period (475 - 221 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The gilded and sharply convoluted surface of this lute-shaped belt hook portrays a dragon with a large lupine-head and spiral horns facing the dragon-head hook. Turquoise accents its eyes and forehead. A smaller raptorlike head, its sharp beak as if gripping the gilded frame for the pale, yellowish white jade ring in the center, occupies the opposite end. Turquoise cabochons are inlaid into its forehead and cheeks. In its claws are the twisted hindquarters of two does, whose heads appear on opposite sides of the jade ring. Turquoise also accents each doe's head. A rusty brown, blue, and white glass bead fills the perforated center of the jade. The thick gold cover wraps around the edge of the belt hook on to the underside. The button is missing.

Published References
  • Robert K. Liu. Chinese Warring States Glazed Beads: Unusual Faience Ornaments of the Zhou Dynasty. vol. 28, no. 4 Los Angeles, 2006. p. 60.
  • John Johnston, Chan Lai Pik. 5000 Years of Chinese Jade. Exh. cat. San Antonio, Texas, 2011. cat. 38, p. 73.
  • Jenny F. So, Emma C. Bunker. Traders and Raiders on China's Northern Frontier. Exh. cat. Seattle, 1995. cat. 75, pp. 153-154.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 162, p. 245.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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