China, Warring States Period, ca. 475 to 221 BCE. A bronze cast ferrule (the butt end of a lance or spear) in the form of a zoomorphic head, perhaps an elephant or pig given that long trunk or snout, extensively decorated with incised and low relief swirl/linear motifs, hollow to fit a special weapon. The sumptuous artistry of this piece arose from innovations during the late Eastern Zhou dynasty, when Chinese artisans, who were inspired by the nomadic art of the steppes, elected to add sophisticated designs to the surfaces of otherwise austere bronzes. Size: 3.75" L x 1.625" W (9.5 cm x 4.1 cm)
Provenance: Ex-New Jersey Collection; ex-Lord McAlpine collection, West Green, England.
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