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Pole Cap with Antelope

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


6th/4th century B.C.


Eurasian steppes

About this artwork

Bronze sculptures of real and imaginary animals are generally known as “Ordos” after the Ordos Desert in which they were first discovered in the early twentieth century. This northern and northwestern frontier of China—which also includes the forests and grasslands of present-day Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia, southern Siberia, and parts of Central Asia was occupied by hunting and herding tribes during the first millennium B.C. The precise ethnic identities of most of these tribes are unknown; ancient Chinese texts refer to many of these tribes by ancient regional names rather than by the names by which the tribes called themselves.

The vigorous lifestyle of these nomadic horsemen is reflected in their bronzes, which originally embellished chariots, harness equipment, and personal accessories. Pole caps or finials like this were probably attached to such chariots or their canopies.


On View, Gallery 132


Arts of Asia


Pole Cap with Antelope


Eurasia (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

599 BCE–400 BCE




16.6 × 12.5 cm (6 1/2 × 4 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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