China, Inner Mongolia, Ordos, 5th-3rd century BC. Cast as a crouching tiger, with the front and hind legs tucked under the body, the mouth open to reveal teeth, the tail curled on its back, the reverse set with a loop for attachment.
Provenance: Grays Antique Center, London, 1999. Dr. Koos de Jong, acquired from the above (invoice no longer available). Dr. de Jong is a Dutch art historian and has been privately collecting Chinese art over decades. He has authored hundreds of articles and several books on Dutch fine and decorative arts spanning from the Middle Ages to the modern era. In 2013, he published an extensive study of Chinese riding gear in “Dragon & Horse, Saddle Rugs and Other Horse Tack from China and Beyond”. Between 1976 and 2009 he worked for numerous museums across the Netherlands and was the director of the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch.
Condition: Good, original condition, remarkable considering the age of this plaque! Some wear, minuscule nicks, and scratches. Some malachite-green encrustations to the reverse in the recesses. Originally with inlays, which are missing. One loop showing loss.
Weight: 6.39 g
Dimensions: Length 2.2 cm
Literature comparison: Similar plaques cast in bronze were found in a number of Ordos tombs in Hebei province and Inner Mongolia, also illustrated in E. C. Bunker, James C.Y Watt and Zhixin Sun, Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2002, no. 134, p. 157.
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