​Animal-Mask Bridle Ornament with Turquoise Inlays

Accession No. R001195
Period Shang Dynasty
Material Bronze
Findspot Horse Pit No. 2017 Hsi-pei-kang, Yin Xu site
Geographic Location Hou-Chia-Chuang village, Anyang, Honan province, China
Dimension H. 8.2 cm; W. 9.3 cm; D. 1.8 cm


Period: Chinese Bronze Age. Shang dynasty.(1400-1100B.C.)
Medium: Bronze; Turquoise

This artifact was excavated from the horse pit and this was the most exquisite and intact piece unearthed. The bronze was used as the base, on which the contours of the animal were carved. Turquoise was cut into small pieces and plastered to the base. The back of the artifact features a pair of crossing supports for threading leather strings through. It may have been a decorative part of a bridle on a horse's forehead.