Clasps, which appeared in China from the beginning of the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (722-481 BC), were mainly used to securely fasten leather belts. These accessories are in fact provided on the reverse with a mushroom-shaped protuberance which was introduced into the opening pierced at one end of the belt, while their curved appendage was passed through the eyelet made at the other. end of it or in a ring.
These very varied objects, as much by their dimensions as by their materials, their forms or even the decorative techniques implemented, came to fulfill all sorts of uses: hanging small tools, even weapons, everyday accessories or ornaments. From the Jin 晉 dynasty (317-420), clasps gradually disappeared in favor of belt buckles fitted with a barb.
The obverse of the clip presented here is decorated with a motif of a recumbent animal (perhaps a wolf) whose tail wraps around a kitten inside which was originally a encased a bead in glass paste.
End of the Warring States period (453-222 BC), XNUMXrd century BC. J.-C.
China, possibly Henan Province
L.8,8 cm x W.3,3 cm x D.1,3 cm
Gift of the Society of Friends of the Cernuschi Museum, 1957
Photo credit :
© Paris Museums / Cernuschi Museum