Chinese Qin nation gilt bronze belt buckle from the Zhou Dynasty 770-221 B.C

A finely sculpted and cast bronze fire gilded belt buckle found in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. Made by artisans from the Qin nation, a small country on the western borders of Zhou. There is a direct relationship between the Qin and Steppes nomads from southern Mongolia who settled in the region and such objects are believed to have been made for them. There is a related belt buckle in Fengxiang County Museum in Shaanxi Province excavated in 2001. For an interesting article by Liu Yang referring to the relationship between the Qin and the Steppes nomads see:

The Eastern and Western Zhou Dynasties, following the Shang Dynasty, supported a flowering of the arts, culture and religion. The earlier part up to 481 B.C., known as the ‘Spring and Autumn period, was named after the Confucian Spring and Autumn Annals, the earliest written historical Chinese text in chronological form. The Eastern Zhou period is also known as being the golden age of Chinese philosophy. For more information on the Zhou Dynasty, see:

The tradition of bronze casting developed in the Shang Dynasty continued under the Western Zhou Dynasty and was further refined during the Eastern Zhou. The combination of naturalistic animal forms and shamanistic taotie tiger mask can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty and also has connections with the art of Scythia and the Steppes.

Acquired from a Dutch collection with earlier provenance from a reputable Hong Kong antiques dealer. An exceptionally rare example in extremely fine condition. 40mm x 35mm.Acquired from a Dutch collection and purchased from Maria Lam Oriental Art, Hollywood Road Antiques Market, Hong Kong in 2006. An exceptional and rare example inextremely fine condition with gilding almost entirely intact. 40mm x 35mm.