northeastern China or Inner Asia (or Central Asia)
10th–early 12th century AD (or 12th–early 13th century AD)
cast and sheet copper alloy and wire, gilded; leather backing
4.3 x 4.5cm (plaques); 4.7 x 8.1cm (terminal)
Six of these seven belt fittings are almost square and their front is decorated in high relief with a deer couchant, body and head facing right, in a beaded circle. The seventh fitting is rectangular with one rounded end and also bears a deer couchant, its body facing right but its head turned back, in the beaded circle. The deer all have mushroom-like lingzhi antlers and their coats are represented with engraved lines. The front plaques are mercury-amalgam gilded and the grounds within the beaded circles have ring-punched scrolls. All the fittings still have a back-plate, which is secured by rivets, and all but one has the remains of a leather belt sandwiched between the front and back plates.
M. Spink & J. Ogden, The Art of Adornment, Jewellery of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVII, Part Two, London 2013, cat.294, pp.332–3.