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Gilt bronze with repoussé relief
Overall: 4.7 x 4.9 cm (1 7/8 x 1 15/16 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1917.1053.2
The Japanese antique dealer Yamanaka & Company, which opened its branches in New York (1895) and Boston (1899), sold small Korean archaeological materials such as this belt ornament to American collectors in the early 20th century.
Metallurgy advanced remarkably in the Goryeo period (918-1392), explaining why a large quantity of sophisticated metal artifacts with delicate designs were used not only as daily accessories but also as burial goods. Belt ornaments like this example were fixed to leather belts. Surround by intricate arabesque patterns, a seated dear was done in the repoussé technique. Such animal motifs were widely shared among Eastern Eurasian tribes, from where the first settlers in the Korean peninsula originated.
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