This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 308
兩鏤空翅膀龍紋玉飾- 西漢, 公元前2世紀-前1世紀
This pair of almost identical jade openwork plaques, one slightly longer than the other, is carved with the motif of a winged dragon in profile. The shape of the plaques is roughly rectangular and delimited on three sides by a narrow band incised with small double lines carved at regular intervals. The borders of the plaques are actually an extension of the long crests of the dragons, that lengthen and follow the contour of the animals’ bodies, terminating in a curl on which the dragons rest a paw. The heads have pointed ears, big slanting eyes, an open mouth, and a long tuft of hair projecting from the chin. The rear legs rest on the bottom border and on the tail, as if the dragons were walking. Long wings project from their backs and end abruptly near the top border. The jade is of a pale green colour with some alterations.
These jades match a similar one excavated in 1973 from a late Western Han tomb in the cemetery located in Ding county, Hebei province. They can also be compared to a similar openwork plaque with a tiger in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (acc. nos. 46-86). Another jade plaque, in the Freer/Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C., is carved with a similar motif of a walking winged dragon within a frame (acc. no. S1987.683).
Provenance: From an old Austrian-Hungarian collection