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Pair of Plaques with Profile Animal Heads

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Western Zhou dynasty ( 1046–771 BC ), 10th/8th century B.C.



About this artwork

This metal plaque is one of a pair that was beaten together to form mirror images of an animal head in profile with gaping mouth and curved fang. Similarly curved and perforated examples, which have been excavated from the burials of horses and chariots, suggest that these plaques originally formed the cheek pieces for a horse’s bridle. Alternatively, they may have been sewn onto leather to form defensive armor for the chest or back of a soldier.


On View, Gallery 131


Arts of Asia


Pair of Plaques with Profile Animal Heads


China (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.

1027 BCE–221 BCE




30.2 × 22.4 × 0.2 cm (11 7/8 × 8 13/16 × 3/16 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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