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Lot n° 319


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A BRONZE BELT HOOK, EASTERN ZHOU DYNASTY China, 4 th-3 nd century BC. Finely cast with a stylized dragon-head hook incised with diagonal lines along the neck terminating into the circular body cast in low relief with mythical beasts, all encircling the central well which probably once held a large glass or gemstone inlay. The underside with a circular button. Provenance: The Northwick Park Collection, the Property of Captain E. G. Spencer-Churchill, MC. Christie’s London, 24 May 1965, lot 145 (dated to the Tang dynasty). Collection of Dr. Wou Kiuan, acquired from the above. Wou Lien-Pai Museum, coll. no. H.M.110. Captain Edward Spencer-Churchill, MC (1876-1964) was a British naval officer and a cousin to Sir Winston Churchill. He inherited Northwick Park from his maternal grandmother in 1912 along with her large collection of Chinese art. Dr. Wou Kiuan (1910-1997) was a Chinese diplomat and noted scholar of Chinese art. His father, Wou Lien-Pai (1873-1944), was one the leading political figures of early 20th century China, remembered for his role as speaker and leader of parliament during the turbulent years of the Republican era. Condition: Very good condition, commensurate with age. Extensive wear, signs of weathering and erosion, encrustations, casting flaws, small nicks, light scratches. The bronze covered in a fine, naturally grown patina with rich malachite and cuprite encrustations. Weight: 88 g Dimensions: Length 10.8 cm Literature comparison: Compare a related bronze belt hook cast with a similar albeit smaller and off-centered circular concave which may have once held a glass or gemstone inlay, 8.6 cm long, dated 4 th-3 rd century BC, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 51.134.1.