Title:Cross-tube with Human Head MaskArtist:Artist UnknownDate:10th-9th century B.C.Creation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift from James J. Lally in honor of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:2000.98
It is rare to find the human face used as a motif in early Chinese bronzes. This small fitting also exhibits four simplified t'ao-t'ieh masks in rounded relief at the end of each tube. The object most likely served to connect the leather straps of a horse bridle. The internment of horses in royal and aristocratic bronze age tombs was relatively common in ancient China and a great number of bronze chariot and harness fittings have been retrieved from such burials.