Gilt-copper decorative harness fitting

From Japan
Late Kofun period, 6th century AD

This harness fitting was excavated by the amateur archaeologist William Gowland from the Akasaka dolmen group in Mino Province. It is a fine example of the decorative metalworker's skill. The elegant shape is offset by a continuous border of silver-headed imitation rivet heads. The whole is gilded with copper using the mercury amalgam technique. A piece of the original leather strap is still attached to the hole at the top.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Length: 21.000 cm

Museum number

Asia JA OA+1253


William Gowland Collection


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