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Han Dynasty Bronze Dragon Belt Hook

Han Dynasty Bronze Dragon Belt Hook

Regular price €285,00
Regular price Sale price €285,00
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The Western Han Dynasty, 206 BC - 220 AD, China

Exceptional cast bronze belt hook of slender bowed shape and a tapering dragon's head hook. Flat button-like extension on its underside affixes to a belt hole, and the hook is positioned horizontally to attach to clothing. Belt hooks (known as biān lìng qiāng in Chinese) have been used in Asia for millennia, with the earliest archaeological evidence of the hooks date to the 7th century BC, in East Asia. These decorative hooks were functional pieces of attire used to fasten garments, particularly the sash or leather belt worn around the waist. They acted as clasps to secure clothing in place and were made in a variety of materials including bronze, iron, gold and jade. Belt hooks gradually became practical accessories, status symbols and rank insignia for the privileged class in the following centuries. Belt hooks, like this lovely example, were frequently found in archaeological excavations, particularly in tombs and burial sites from the Han Dynasty. They were buried with the deceased as important personal items, believed to accompany individuals in the afterlife.

Excellent condition. Age-related wear and signs of erosion. Pitting and surface losses.  Lovely patina with green oxidization. Size approx. 7,7cm x 1,3cm x 1,5cm. 

Provenance: Private collection from Sweden

For a similar examples see:

Belt-fitting, The British Museum, Accession Number: 1950,1117.136 (

Garment Hook, The Brooklyn Museum, Accession Number: 68.185.11 (

Belt Hook, The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Accession Number: 71.11.309 (

References and further reading:

Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages, Carol Michaelson, London: British Museum Press, 1999

Iron and Steel in Ancient China, Donald B. Wagner, Brill, 1993, p. 169. 

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology, Barbara Ann Kipfer, Springer, 2000, p. 64.

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  • Returns

    Returns and exchange will be accepted within fourteen days (14) of receipt at the purchaser’s cost to include freight and packaging. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were shipped, and will not be accepted if damaged or altered in any way. Please inform us via email ( or by calling +358408408352 before sending. We do not accept returns more than 14 days after delivery.