Jade. China, Eastern Zhou, 4th-3rd century BC
This beautiful and complex carving of celadon-green jade is shaped as a dragon with a long, s-shaped body that is further embellished with curled and truncated appendages and bird heads: the design is so dense that is almost difficult to discern the various parts. The turned back head and the s-shaped curve define the dragon’s body, while the truncated appendages indicate the feet, tail and short wings. A short rectangular bar with carved scrolls at the center connects one part of the curved body to the other.
Several stylized bird heads, with curved beaks, emerge from different points of the dragon. The dragon is covered with small raised curls, while the appendages are decorated with parallel lines.
Literature comparison: Compare a dragon-shaped jade pendant from the Myers collection with a similar design and also dated to the Eastern Zhou period, published in Fillippo Salviati, Radiant Stones: Archaic Chinese Jades, 2004, Honkong, no. 97. Compare also with a similar jade excavated in 1977 in Anhui province and published in Zhongguo Yuqi Quanji, volume 9, no.126 p. 66.
LENGTH 10.2 cm
Provenance: Private Collection of Irene and Wolfgang Zacke.
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