Western Han Dynasty, circa 2nd Century B.C.
cast in the form of a tiger stealthily striding forward with head lowered and body close to the ground, and with long tail streaming out behind turned back to form a serpentine-headed hook, the head and body finely decorated on the front with wavy double-line stripes, ring circles, and finely hatched lines depicting fur, the reverse with a domed button in the center for attachment, the surface with extensive remains of gilding overall and scattered areas of green and red patination.
Length 5 1⁄4 inches (13.3 cm)
J.J. Lally & Co., Early Dynastic China: Works of Art from Shang to Song, New York, 1996, no. 37
Compare a related bronze belthook modelled in the form of a pouncing tiger, but without gilding, in the collection of the British Museum and illustrated by Watson, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, London, 1962, pl. 80b.