Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Pole Top with Double Bird-Shaped Bell (one of pair)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of bronze.


6th/4th century B.C.


Northern China or Inner Mongolia

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 vehicles or canopies. This example contains a pellet inside, indicating that it was designed to jingle.


On View, Gallery 132


Arts of Asia


Pole Top with Double Bird-Shaped Bell (one of pair)


China (Object made in)


599 BCE–400 BCE




18.8 × 10.5 cm (7 7/16 × 4 1/8 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.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions