This is an archaic bronze horse or bridle ornament dating from the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BCE) to early Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). Horses during this time were often used to pull chariots and were the principal war weapon of the Shang elite. The fitting would have been placed on a horses bridle either on the brow or chest, and would have served as a talisman to ward off evil spirits from the owner.
A bronze bridle ornament with traces of red lacquer framed in a substantial border of solid 22k gold. The reverse, a horizontal bar for attachment. Signed bail.
Measurements: 45 x 46 x 14.5 mm deep without bail, 55 mm with the bail
Weight: 57.5 grams
Markings: 22K, French owl import mark, maker’s mark, numbered “33”