REF No. 6471
chinese painted enamel and gilt bronze belt buckle

18th century
Length: 4½ inches; 11.5 cm

formed of two enamel plaques either side of an agate cabochon. The plaques and the cabochon are surrounded by filigree gilt-bronze borders, and the gilt-bronze reverse, set with two loops and a heart-shaped button, is chased with leafy blossoms. The two enamel plaques are delicately painted in the famille rose palette with a European lady and gentleman, each surrounded by a twisted gilt border and reserved against lapis-lazuli blue bassetaille enamel.

See Catalogue of the Exhibition of Ch’ing Dynasty Costume Accessories no. 36, p. 119, for a pair of belt plaques with a similar bassetaille enamel ground, and no. 37, p. 120, for a tourmaline buckle with a related gilt-bronze border, both in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Note also Classics of the Forbidden City: Timepieces in the Imperial Palace, nos. 132 and 133, pp. 207–08, for pocket watches bearing similar inlaid enamel plaques.

For a related buckle, see Keverne, Fine and Rare Chinese Works of Art and Ceramics (Winter 2010), no. 70, p. 84.


chinese painted enamel and gilt bronze belt buckle