bird with long, drooping tailfeathers and legs drawn up toward body; ball in bird's slightly open beak; scroll design on bird's back with rectangular opening; rectangular opening at center of body

Harness Trapping, one of a pair, 11th-12th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Gilt bronzeexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.34.1.1

Not on Viewexpand_more

Originally mounted as cheek pieces on a horse's bridle, these graceful harness trappings are each cast in the form of a mythical phoenix holding a pearl in its beak. The Liao people came from the northern steppe grasslands to conquer north China in the tenth century (916-1125). They were horse-riding herdsmen who lavished great attention on the saddles and harness trappings of their prized mounts. Although foreign rulers, the Liao embraced many aspects of China's artistic legacy and sponsored the production of ceramics, bronze accoutrements, and exceptionally fine gold work. Many examples of gilt metal harness trappings have been excavated from Liao tombs where horses were occasionally interred with their masters.

Details
Title
Harness Trapping, one of a pair
Role
Artist
Dimension
H.3-3/4 x W.9-3/8 x D.3/4 in.
Accession Number
2000.34.1.1
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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bird with long, drooping tailfeathers and legs drawn up toward body; ball in bird's slightly open beak; scroll design on bird's back with rectangular opening; rectangular opening at center of body