Scythia was an area in central Eurasia, which bordered the Black Sea and largely consisted of nomadic tribes. Scythian art was primarily decorative in its nature, and the Scythians were famed for their highly ornate and carefully crafted jewellery. This gold mount would have been affixed to garments as decoration, usually as part of a pattern, with multiple gold mounts on a single item of clothing. So integral was gold to Scythian fashions that even horses were richly decorated in gold ornamentation.
The reverse of this piece clearly shows the three suspension holes, by which it would have been attached to a garment. Animals are a frequent motif in Scythian art, particularly in the earlier tradition.
To discover more about Scythian culture, please visit our relevant blog post: Scythian Gold.