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Pair of Harness Fittings

Location

CHINA

Era

Western Zhou dynasty (about 1050-771 B.C.E.)

Title

Pair of Harness Fittings

Materials

Bronze

Dimensions

5.5 cm (w.)

Credits

Purchase, inv. 1931.Dm.6a-b

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

During the Western Zhou period, bronze was not only used for ritual vessels but also for trappings and ornaments for horses, which the Zhou traded on their northern frontiers. Some bronze ornaments adorned the wheels, yokes and poles of war and funerary chariots, while others were attached to horses’ harnesses or to riders’ garments and belts. The decorative motifs, shapes and materials were often inspired by the iconographic repertoire of the steppe nomads, whose mounted warfare tactics were adopted in China during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.).

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