The nomadic Ordos civilization and culture occupied the region of modern Mongolia and China, from the 6th century BC until the 2nd century BC. Although being in direct contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty, the Ordos culture was more influenced by the Scythian peoples of the Steppes. The Ordos civilization is primarily known for its craftsmanship in working metals and bronzes. Bronzes such as belt plaques, horse gears and weapons were decorated and modelled inspired by the natural and animal world. Scenes of animals in combat are linked with the ancient Near Eastern art traditions.
Ordos Abstract Bronze Plaque
A finely cast, openwork Ordos bronze belt plaque, formed from four abstract antelope heads creating a quadrant outline. Each head is punctured at the snout to create a hollowed loop. The eyes are formed from a large concentric circle, perforated at the centre and thus suggesting the plaque originally held inlays. Their swirled horns are incised with deep grooves, creating the dramatic points of the plaque. Four large water-drop shaped modellings, with embossed ridges on the top, radiate from a central, geometric point, and extend further to reach the antelope heads, forming their stylised bodies. These teardrop modellings would have also held inlays made of precious metal. The reverse is plain and undecorated.
Condition: Very fine condition, covered with attractive turquoise-green patina. Some encrustation consistent with age.