- Museum number
Two bronze creatures, a tiger and a boar, are locked in combat, chasing each other in a circle. Their different pelts are suggested with inlaid silver and gold. Broken areas on the soles of the feet indicate that this bronze may have decorated some larger object.
- Production date
- 3rdC BC (circa)
Diameter: 9.40 centimetres
Height: 6.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Rawson 1987:
Two creatures, a tiger and a boar, are locked in combat, chasing each other in a circle. Their different pelts are cunningly suggested with inlaid silver and gold. Broken areas on the soles of the feet indicate that this bronze may have decorated some larger object.
The life and death struggle of the two animals is very different from the static, almost timeless, stance of creatures depicted on early bronzes: a tiger on no. 15 grasps a man's head not in anger but with indifference; the image is static, outside time. Animals in combat were favourite subjects in the Near East and among China's nomadic neighbours, such as the peoples whose lords were buried in the frozen tombs of Pazyryk in the Altai Mountains of south Siberia. It is probable that nomadic woodwork, textiles and bronze were known to the Chinese, who adapted similar scenes from them for the inlaid bronzes. A tiger devouring an ibex, vividly portrayed in a cast-bronze support inlaid in gold and silver, was found in a tomb at Pingshan near Beijing. These tombs belonged to the Di rulers of the state of Zhongshan, who had entered China from the steppe lands to the north and who shared perhaps the tastes and practices of their northern neighbours.
- On display (G33/dc6a/s3)
- Exhibition history
2009 24 Jan-19 Apr, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, 'China: Journey to the East'
2009 2 May-19 Jul, Coventry, The Herbert, 'China: Journey to the East'
2009 1 Aug-1 Dec, Basingstoke, The Willis Museum, 'China: Journey to the East'
2010 29 Jan-9 May, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear Museums, 'China: Journey to the East'
2010 22 May-15 Aug, York, Yorkshire Museums Trust, 'China: Journey to the East'
2010-2011 25 Sep-26 Jun, Manchester Museum, 'China: Journey to the East'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- ex-Luff collection
purchased with funds bequeathed by Mrs Katherine Goodhart Kitchingham
purchased from R. E. R. Luff Will Trust
- Registration number