A silver-inlaid bronze 'tiger head' ornament, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period | 東周戰國時期 銅錯銀虎首飾件
A silver-inlaid bronze 'tiger head' ornament,
Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period
well modelled in the form of a feline head with fine lines of silver inlay defining the details, the broad snout with a wide open mouth leading to a hollow interior and open at the back, the pair of almond-shaped eyes surmounted by bushy brows and large rounded ears
4.8 by 4.7 by h. 2.5 cm
Overall good condition. The silver decoration on its right cheek is missing, but otherwise the inlays are generally well preserved with typical tarnishing. Occasional insignificant dents, expected oxidation and accretions to the underside.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Eskenazi Ltd, London, 15th August 1988.
Jessica Rawson and Emma C. Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1990, cat. no. 104.
Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1990.
Bronze animal head-form fittings of this type were probably used as chariot ornaments, as evidenced by two similar parcel-gilt bronze examples discovered inside the carriage remnants of a chariot from the tomb of the Prince of Qi of the Western Han dynasty in Linzi, Shandong province, published in Zibo Museum, 'Xihan Qiwangmu suizangqiwukeng [The Funerary Pits round the Princely Tomb of Qi Kingdom of the Western Han Dynasty]', Kaogu xuebao/Acta Archaeologica Sinica, vol. 2, Beijing, 1985, fig. 23-3. Thomas Lawton, on the other hand, suggested that it could have been the top part of a tripod stand; see Chinese Art of the Warring States Period, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 1983, cat. no. 27.
For other ornaments of the same type, see an example inscribed to the underside with two characters reading zuozheng, in the Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, included in the exhibition Unearthing China's Past, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1973, cat. no. 16; another exhibited in Chinese Archaic Bronzes, Sculpture and Works of Art, J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 1992, cat. no. 31; and an undecorated example, attributed to the Han dynasty, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession no. 18.43.1.