The nomadic Ordos civilization and culture occupied the region of modern Mongolia and China, from the 6th century BC until the 2nd century BC. Although being in direct contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty, the Ordos culture was more influenced by the Scythian peoples of the Steppes. The Ordos civilization is primarily known for its craftsmanship in working metals and bronzes. Bronzes such as belt plaques, horse gears and weapons were decorated and modelled inspired by the natural and animal world. Scenes of animals in combat are linked with ancient Near Eastern art traditions.
Ordos Gilt-Bronze ‘Animal Fight’ Belt Plaque
An impressive Ordos civilisation, gilt-bronze belt plaque depicting a fight between a lion and an antelope. The lion, depicted on the left, is seen leaping forward, its mouth open revealing sharp teeth. The antelope, on the right, is attempting to deflect the attack by striking the predator with its antlers, its neck folded dramatically towards its body. The scene is placed in a rectangular frame, with the limbs of the animals depicted as if breaking free of the confines of the border. The animals’ facial and anatomical features have been rendered with significant detail, enhancing the decorative appeal of the piece. The reverse appears slightly hollow and unworked, featuring a knob in the centre for attachment.
Provenance: The Lowenson Collection, formed during the 1930s-1950s by Max Lowenson (1879-1945), a Cardiff businessman born in Latvia; Thence by descent as stated in a handwritten letter dated 1975; Property of the Essex Collection of Early Chinese Art, British Private Collection, where some of the collection is now housed in the National Museum of Wales.
Condition: Very fine condition, with surface patination and encrustation in some areas.
|L 14.3 x W 6.7 x H 0.5 cm
Near East (Western Asiatic)
Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1947,0712.365