View full screen - View 1 of Lot 875. A pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze crossbow fittings, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period 東周戰國時期 銅錯金銀蛇首承弩器一對.
875

A pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze crossbow fittings, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period 東周戰國時期 銅錯金銀蛇首承弩器一對

Property of a Gentleman | 士紳收藏

A pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze crossbow fittings, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period 東周戰國時期 銅錯金銀蛇首承弩器一對

A pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze crossbow fittings, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period 東周戰國時期 銅錯金銀蛇首承弩器一對

Property of a Gentleman

A pair of gold and silver-inlaid bronze crossbow fittings,

Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period

士紳收藏

東周戰國時期 銅錯金銀蛇首承弩器一對


each l. 18.1

Both are in overall good condition for its age and type; One fitting with possibly later inscriptions; both with minor losses to the gold and silver inlay; There are typical minor pitting and wearing to the surface; light malachite encrustations especially to the undecorated areas.

大致品相良好;其中一件或後刻篆書銘文;錯金銀細節處有輕微遺失;器物表面有常見劃痕及棕眼;器內壁及外壁未裝飾處見少量綠鏽。


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Acquired in Hong Kong in the 1990s.


1990年代購於香港

Skilfully cast and intricately inlaid in gold and silver with geometric scrollwork, the pair of fittings testify to the technological virtuosity of the bronze workshops as well as the peak of luxury in the Warring States period. The pair of superbly cast and detailed fittings would once have been fitted to a crossbow or acted or supported a crossbow on a chariot for a high-ranking charioteer – if not the king or members of the ruling elite.

Fittings of this type have been excavated in pairs in association with chariots, but the actual function and placement has been debated amongst scholars with one theory proposing that they were fitted to the front of a crossbow shaft to support a bow with the upcurved terminals acting as the aiming mechanism (Luoyang Museum, 'Luoyang Zhongzhoulu Zhanguo chemakeng [The Chariot Pit Found at Zhongzhou Road, Luoyang]', Kaogu, vol. 3, 1974, p. 177, fig. 7). Another – perhaps more commonly accepted – theory is that the fittings functioned as crossbow supports on a chariot. They were attached horizontally to the front panel of a chariot, adjacent to the occupants. The crossbow would have been placed facing down, with its bow resting on the curved shafts and its handle positioned obliquely upward, ready at hand for a quick draw.

Compare a related fitting with the terminal of the curved shaft similarly rendered in the form of a snake's head, but decorated with silver inlay only, excavated in Luoyang in 1973 and now preserved in the Luoyang Museum, illustrated in Li Xueqin, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji: Gongyi meishu bian [Complete series on Chinese art: Arts and crafts section], 5: Qingtong qi [Bronzes], vol. 2, Beijing, 1986, pl. 117. Compare also another pair of silver-inlaid bronze fittings, each with the terminal of the curved shaft rendered in the form of a dragon’s head, sold in these rooms, 9th October 2022, lot 3617.

承弩器是古代戰車上用於輔助開弩的器具。戰漢時期弩已發展為重型武器,難以單用手來張弩,尤其是在狹小的戰車上。因此設計了這種器具,固定在戰車車廂前端,作承弩之用。承弩器既不是弓弩弩臂的附屬物或銅飾,也不是戰鬥時射手的瞄准器,它的高度、造型及位置是為了配合弩弓在戰車上得以最高效的使用,是戰車的一部分,因此大都製作精美。此對承弩器造型取龍身獸首,龍頸高昂,器物通身錯金銀飾直角幾何雲雷紋,絢麗精緻,極為少見。

最初在洛陽中州路戰國車馬坑出土一對類似的承弩器時,由於其出土位置是在弩臂前方,學者猜測此類器具是安裝於弩的木臂(弩臂)前端承弓(弩弓部位)的青銅附件,見洛陽博物館,「洛陽中州路戰國車馬坑」,《考古》,卷3,1974年,頁177,圖7。後來在整理滿城中山靖王墓出土文物時發現了十多件同樣的器物,更確定了此類器物為配弩戰車上得專屬飾件,安裝在戰車前側。

參看一件戰國中晚期錯銀承弩器,於1973年洛陽出土,現藏於洛陽博物館,著錄於《中國美術全集 工藝美術編 5 青銅器》,下冊,北京,1986年,圖117。另見香港蘇富比曾售出東周戰國時期 銅錯銀龍首雲氣紋承弓器一對,2022年10月9日,編號3617。