475-221 BC

Bronze inlaid with gold and silver

Overall: 13.1 cm (5 3/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1930.730


Chariots and weapons were associated with hunting and warfare in the ancient world. Those bronze fittings with lavish inlaid decoration were status symbols of rulers and high-ranking officials.

This finial combines extravagance and ferocious beauty to reveal the aesthetics of the time. The birds with hooked beaks are above the intertwined serpent-dragons. Such artistic conception emphasizes the power of the bird in combat. Every facet of this finial is exquisitely crafted to give full play to the inlaid decoration.

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