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[Tidbits] Golden Belt Buckle

and it holds up your pants… can it still be considered jewelry?

Not too sure about belt buckles here… but I am sure they serve a
mighty purpose when considering their existence is intrinsically tied
to a belt. Which brings us in a slightly oblique manner to the fact
that belts are supposed to protect one from sorcery because it is
completely wrapped around the body. So one should never carelessly
throw one’s away… for if it is found by a witch the owner of the
belt would henceforth be at the witch’s mercy.

Which brings us via a route too arcane and mysterious to explain…
to China… circa 113BC or so. I myself do not pretend to begin to
understand my segues. Which brings me to the belt buckle of gold. It
seems that prince Liu Sheng and his wife Dou Wan, of the small
kingdom of Zhongshan, were found in their suits of jade in two tombs
at Mancheng.

The goods in their grave consisted of thousands of items including
jewels made of gold and silver and jade. Their collections spoke only
of their good taste and refined sensibilities. Alas… and I know you
are all going to take this as a most bitter pill to swallow… the
imperial palaces of the day were unable to survive the destructive
forces of man and the erosive forces of nature.

And yet… as if in defiance of all things logical… despite the
ravages of the endless centuries… there rose from the rubble in
glistening splendor… a golden artifact as useful as it was
beautiful. To wit: A golden belt buckle. Shhh. Hold down your cheers
folks. I know the excitement is dizzying. Let me tell you a bit about
it and then you can all let loose to your hearts’ content.

Several different metalworking techniques were used in the
manufacture of our buckle. There is filigree. There is granulation.
There is a motif of entwined dragons creating a complex relief
decoration. The whole shebang forms a Chinese pictorial repertoire.

It is–in essence–not only a belt buckle but also a presentation of
utilitarian gorgeousity rarely matched in today’s
computer-aided-design sterile world. Of course… this is only one
humble man’s opinion and is to be taken as such. So there it is.

Wanna see? You know where. Go.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages an image of a magnificent golden belt buckle.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark


You weave such a magical spell with words! Could you weave a magic
carpet to take me to the workshop of the maker of this amazing
ornament? I would like to examine the tools and listen to a tutorial
of the fabrication of this piece.

Many thanks, MA