Excavation discoveries have shown that cylindrical fittings of this type were used to connect the wood support of the parasol on a chariot. Two fittings of this form were found on the remnants of a chariot carriage from the Han tomb in Mancheng Hebei province, each with two sections of wood inserted from either end, published in Institute of Archaeology, CASS, ed., Mancheng Hanmu fajue baogao [Archaeological report of the Han tombs in Mancheng], vol. 1, Beijing, 1980, p. 323, fig. 219-7 (line drawing). See also a line drawing of a reconstructed chariot illustrating where these type of fittings were positioned, published in the exhibition catalogue Splendeurs des Han : Essor de l'empire céleste, Museé Guimet, Paris, 2014, p. 89.
Compare a related gold and silver-inlaid fitting of this type, decorated in a different abstract design, attributed to the Han dynasty, from the collection of Marquis Goryu Hosokawa, exhibited in International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, cat. no. 397; also a silver-inlaid example with a similar design, sold in our London rooms, 29th February 1972, lot 156; another included in the exhibition Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1990, cat. no. 94; and a further example sold at Christie's New York, 15th September 2011, lot 1147.