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Passport to the Past

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Harness Ornament with Two Ibexes

199 BCE - 0
2 13/16 x 3 5/8 x 3/8 in. (7.1 x 9.2 x 1 cm)

Unknown, Chinese

Chinese; made in the Ordos region

Object Type: Metalwork
Medium and Support: Gilt bronze
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1973.66
Location: Currently on view
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This gold-covered plaque, made in the Ordos region of Inner Mongolia, shows two ibexes, or wild mountain goats, face to face, their curved horns arching over their backs. Fleet and nimble, the ibex was a favorite subject for artists in many ancient and medieval cultures; tradition holds that an ibex leaping from a mountain would land unharmed on its double scimitar-like horns. The owner of this intricate plaque would have sewn it on clothing or a horse harness as a display of personal wealth and status.
-- from Art at the Crossroads brochure

[Possibly David David-Weill (1871-1952), Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, sold at Hotel Drouot, Paris, June 28-29, 1972;] East-West Shop, Victor, NY (dealer); purchased from them by the Gallery in 1973

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