A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period
Lot 2008
A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou
Eastern Zhou-Warring States period
Sold for US$ 245,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou  Eastern Zhou-Warring States period
A rare gold and silver inlaid-bronze garment hook, daigou
Eastern Zhou-Warring States period
The hook superbly cast and of extraordinarily large size, formed as a tiger striding on clawed feet, its mouth agape, revealing fearsome teeth, the tail extended and terminating in a dragon head, the undulating form displaying a sensitive rendering of the beast's musculature, the contours further highlighted with intricate and sinuous zoomorphic patterns in gold and silver inlay set flush with the bronze, the reverse cast with a knob inlaid in gold with two characters; the inlaid surface with scattered traces encrustation found in dense patches on the reverse.
9 ½ x 4 ½in (24 x 11.4cm)

Footnotes

  • 東周至戰國 錯金銀青銅石虎形帶鈎

    Provenance:
    Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1998

    Published:
    Giuseppe Eskenazi, Animals and Animal Designs in Chinese Art, New York, March 1998: catalogue no. 5., foldout cover of catalogue
    Maurizio Scarpani, Ancient China, Vercelli, Italy, 2006, p 141
    Giuseppe Eskenazi, A Dealer's Hand, London, 2012, pp 194-1195

    A belt hook of distinctly similar design and execution, formed as a rhinoceros, and inlaid with gold and silver, was excavated in Sichuan in 1954 and is now held by the National Museum of China, Beijing. The museum's description attributes this type of large, elaborately inlaid, animal-form belt hook to the ancient Ba state, located in what is now eastern Sichuan. In 'Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania,' Barbara West describes the tiger cult of the Ba people, in which deceased kings were believed to transform into tigers. The National Museum of China also notes that Ba is described in the literature of the Chu state as being a region with a highly developed artistic culture.

    The complex and highly decorative inlay present in this belt hook marks it as a masterful example of Warring States bronze design and technology. During this period, bronze vessels and ornaments, like this piece, stood as dazzling and luxurious symbols of the individual power of warlords. The elite consumed metalwork designed for festivities, diplomatic gifts, dowries and personal adornment. This belt hook, with its lavish aesthetics, precise execution, a sumptuous variety of materials and unusual size, is a quintessential example of the highest quality adornments produced for the most exalted classes of Warring States period elite.

    There also exists a group of silver-inlaid cast bronze animal-form fittings, of similar silhouette, which served as corner supports for furniture and which display decorative schemes that have much in common with the patterns evident on the present belt hook. This may suggest a common date or geographic origin. The beast's neck is inlaid with a geometric border, perhaps representing a cowrie shell collar. See a related pair of corner supports, formerly in the collections of Stephen Junkunc IV and Alice Boney, sold at Christie's New York, June 4 1992, lot 194. A further example is now in the Miho Museum and was exhibited in the museum's 1999 exhibition, 'Animals in Ancient China.'
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