Pair of gold ear ornaments
China, Northern Wei dynasty, 386 – 535
A pair of gold ear ornaments, consisting of a central openwork filigree ball suspended from a delicate tree, from which leaf-shaped ornaments are suspended. Six chains hang from the central ball, each suspending a blade-like ornament.
The structure of these delicate earrings ensures that there is constant movement in these ear pendants when worn. A pair of comparable earrings, also dated to the Northern Wei dynasty, was excavated in 1964 at Baoxian in Hebei province. Two pairs of comparable earrings, dated to the Northern Wei dynasty, are in the Muwen Tang collection. The same collection also houses a group of gold openwork spheres with granulation. A pair of similar earrings with additional amber beads is in the collection of the Datong Museum in Shanxi province (plate. 1).
1 Wei, H, and Deydier, C. Ancient Chinese Gold, France 2001, plate 249, p. 103
2 Kwan, S. and Ji, S. Chinese Gold Ornaments, The Muwen Tang Collection Series, Hong Kong, 2003, nos. 184 and 185, pp. 332 + 3
3 Kwan, S. and Ji, S. op. cit. no 183, pp. 330 + 1op. cit. no. 4:6, p. 136