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Rare Ordos Bronze Plaque - Attacking Animal

Central Asia, Ordos Culture, modern day Mongolia / China, ca. 500 to 100 BCE. A fierce cast bronze decorative plaque in the form of a fantastical predatory animal devouring two deer. The animal has a powerful, feline body, with long curved claws on each foot, muscular haunches, and a thick snout. Incised lines give its body a swirling texture. The deer, in contrast, are represented only by two disembodied heads with long necks. The back of the plaque features two vertical loops that were probably used for sewing it onto a piece of horse tack or possibly a belt or cloak. Size: 3.2" W x 1.75" H (8.1 cm x 4.4 cm); 3.45" H (8.8 cm) on included custom stand.

The Ordos people were equestrian nomads who lived in the grassy, high steppes environment of the Ordos Plateau. Although today this area is a desert, when the Ordos people lived there, it was lush, and cross-cut with many rivers. The Ordos culture is an interesting mix of Central Asian and Chinese, possibly the furthest east group of Scythians. They created beautiful bronzes which have been found in graves from the Ordos homeland to China.

See a similar plaque at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=227293&partId=1&searchText=ordos&images=true&page=1

Condition: Bright turquoise patina with excellent preservation of details.

Provenance: private New Jersey, USA collection

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