Set of belt ornaments (incomplete?)

The six ornaments include four rectangular plaques, one buckle with an attached rectangular plaque, and a larger, hinged ornament with a more complex curving shape. All the ornaments are multipart constructions with gilt surfaces and copper or copper alloy substrates. Each rectangular plaque bears a motif of a single animal with surrounding abstract floral forms. Also, each plaque is similar in construction and consists of three basic parts held together by small pins (or rivets); the parts are a plain raised border, the central plate bearing repousse decoration, and a flat, plain, gilt back plate. The buckle and large ornament have the basic construction, though they are somewhat more complicated and have additional parts.

It was of particular interest to find evidence of textile on one ornament between the back plate and the underside of the repousse panel. LRN 3337

Historical period(s)
Sui or Tang dynasty, 6th-7th century
Medium
Gilded copper and bronze
Dimensions
H x W x D (S1997.41.1): 15.5 × 3 × 0.5 cm (6 1/8 × 1 3/16 × 3/16 in) H x W x D (S1997.41.2,3,4): 4.5 × 3 × 0.5 cm (1 3/4 × 1 3/16 × 3/16 in) H x W x D (S1997.41.5): 13 × 6 × 0.5 cm (5 1/8 × 2 3/8 × 3/16 in) H x W x D (S1997.41.6): 6.3 × 2.5 × 0.5 cm (2 1/2 × 1 × 3/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1997.41.1-6
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork
Type

Belt ornament

Keywords
casting, China, flower, gilding, Sui dynasty (581 - 618), Tang dynasty (618 - 907), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The six ornaments include four rectangular plaques, one buckle with an attached rectangular plaque, and a larger, hinged ornament with a more complex curving shape. All the ornaments are multipart constructions with gilt surfaces and copper or copper alloy substrates. Each rectangular plaque bears a motif of a single animal with surrounding abstract floral forms. Also, each plaque is similar in construction and consists of three basic parts held together by small pins (or rivets); the parts are a plain raised border, the central plate bearing repousse decoration, and a flat, plain, gilt back plate. The buckle and large ornament have the basic construction, though they are somewhat more complicated and have additional parts.

It was of particular interest to find evidence of textile on one ornament between the back plate and the underside of the repousse panel. LRN 3337

Published References
  • Sale of Eugene Bernat Collection. New York, November 7, 1980. lot 5.
  • Sam Bernstein. Ritual and Belief: Chinese Jade and Related Arts. San Francisco. cat. 28.
  • Important Early Chinese Ceramics, Archaic Bronzes, Sculpture, Silver and Lacquer from the Works of Art Collection of the British Rail Pension Fund, 12 December 1989. London, December 12, 1989. lot 33.
  • Fine Chinese Bronzes, Ceramics and Works of Art. London, June 8, 1993. lot 127.
  • Fine Chinese Ceramics, Furniture, and Works of Art. New York, September 23, 1997. lot 120, pp. 50-51.
  • Henry Trubner. The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty. Exh. cat. Los Angeles. cat. 361, p. 127.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.