gilt bronze with three rectangular shaped blue glass inlay across front of main body; dragon head hook at end, three bands at opposite end; has own mount

Belt Hook, 2nd century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more
G214expand_more

Belt hooks of this general form came into use during the Eastern Zhou period (770–221 BCE) and became standard by the Western Han period. During the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), gold, silver, and turquoise inlay were popular enhancements to bronze and iron belt fasteners. Glass inlay, however, was quite rare. Glass was originally a luxury item brought into China from the West by Silk Road traders. The azure-colored glass in this rare fastener, however, seems to have become a local product by the Western Han period. Beautifully crafted from precious materials, decorative items such as this reflect the bronze industry’s shift from religious to secular artworks and the broader dissemination of wealth that occurred during the Western Han.

Details
Title
Belt Hook
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.72.1
Curator Approved

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gilt bronze with three rectangular shaped blue glass inlay across front of main body; dragon head hook at end, three bands at opposite end; has own mount