Here in the good old U.S. of A. gold and gold trinkets are for anyone
that has the money with which to purchase their objects of desire. In
ancient China... things were a tad different. Gold collections were
for the aristocracy alone.
So let us trek back to the demise of the Han Dynasty in China. It's
just a quick stroll through the divisions and clashes of rival
political parties. I know these are alien thoughts for most of you...
but one must endure the savageries of the olden days... strange as
they may seem.
Turbulence... invasions... the Great Wall notwithstanding... and the
Han Dynasty fell (220-589). The nomadic tribes of northern China
conquered. Luckily... with all this invading and conquering stuff...
avarice of the aristocracy still reigned supreme. Breeding always
showed. Private workshops were kept. Gold and silver objects were
produced by master craftsmen for the exclusive use of their masters.
Woe be he who wore a golden trinket above her rank. I shudder to
think. Yuan Chen, king of Hejian, delighted in showing off his
baubles. Many of these trinkets were horses. Yuan Chen knew horses.
He was a horse aficionado.
A mania grew. These luxuries became so in demand that a Northern Wei
emperor banned the private employment of gold craftsman. The art of
one upmanship had clearly been highly refined. I know some people who
would gladly subscribe to this kind of thinking as long as they were
the top of the fashion food chain. Gold for me... yeah yeah yeah.
None for you... yeah yeah yeah.
And so... now that you know everything of import that there is to
know about the machinations of the Northern Wei Dynasty... I present
you with one of the baubles found in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Region. It is a Gold Auspicious Beast. Snorting and prancing and
pawing the ground... it is waiting to be mounted before dashing off
with its rider to wage battle on insignificant rival emperors.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits...may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits... and then click on it in order to view an
astounding Gold Auspicious Beast.
And there ya have it.
That's it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.