The nomadic Ordos people occupied the Ordos Plateau region of modern-day inner Mongolia, from the 6th century BC until the 2nd century BC. Although being in direct contact with the Chinese dynasties of the central plains, the Ordos culture was more influenced by the Scythian peoples of the Eurasian steppes. The Ordos people were thought to be of Indo-European origins and were sometimes associated with the Xiongnu who engaged in a centuries long conflict with the Han dynasty. The Ordos civilization is primarily known from its bronze artifacts which included weapons, horse gear, and small plaques and fittings for clothes and horse harness. These bronzes had animal style decoration which had elements of Scythian art and also to a smaller extent Chinese art.
Ordos Bronze Horse Belt Plaque
A finely cast Ordos, bronze belt plaque, depicting a stylised horse. The animal is depicted galloping, with its legs bent underneath the torso. The horse is finely rendered, showing details such as the nose band, blinkers and brow band on its head. There are two hollowed circles decorating the body on the shoulder and hind thighs respectively, suggesting they may have originally been embedded with precious inlays. Similar circles have been used to represent the eye of the animal. The reverse of the plaque is hollowed with two large protruding lugs, included to aid in the attachment of the plaque onto a piece of fabric or leather.
Condition: Very fine condition, covered with attractive patina and some encrustation.