Han Dynasty Bronze Dragon Belt Hook, China (1095BLE)


H: 4.675”  W: 1”  D: 0.625” | FREE SHIPPING IN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

This Han dynasty bronze belt hook is fashioned as a dragon with intense eyes. A button-like extension on its underside affixes to a belt hole, and the hook is positioned horizontally to attach to clothing. Belt hooks were used in life and then buried with the diseased to accompany him on his journey to the afterlife.  In very good condition, it has not been cleaned and has normal pitting and surface losses due to its two millennia-old burial in a humid tomb that has heavily oxidized over the years and, therefore, has beautiful verdigris deposits.


Used by the Chinese as early as the 7th century belt hooks were worn with the hook end on the wearer’s left and fastened to clothing with a button like bronze piece fixed to the belt’s end. Initially only functional, metalwork belt hooks became a symbol of wealth, high status and power by the Han Dynasty. They were made using a variety of materials and carved with incised decoration. As these pieces grew in size and cost, they became less functional for clothing and were hung vertically from belt holes to hold decorative items like seals, knives, and other objects. Belt hooks like this one were usually cast in a single mould. The bronze surface of this belt is heavily oxidized with beautiful green deposits, as it was used in life and later buried with the diseased for his journey to the afterlife with other (mingqi) to assure the deceased eternal life was comfortable. This beautiful piece in the shape of a dragon was ornamented with incised linear decoration. Dragons, ancient symbols of divine protection, are the highest beings among Chinese mythical animals and provide protection, ward off evil spirits and symbolize good fortune, high rank and power.

Additional information

Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 6 × 6 in

Ancient, Han Dynasty


Han Dynasty (206BCE – 220 CE)

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 4.675” W: 1” D: 0.625”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht:12.38cm W: 1.59cm D: 2.54cm




Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Item Number


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