Height: 7.800 cm
Length: 12.400 cm (max.)
On loan from a private collection OA 17:9
Room 33b: Chinese jade
Jade pendants in the form of dragons
China, Eastern Zhou dynasty, 4th century BC
Apart from variation in the alteration of the stones, these two pendants are almost identical. Their deeply curved bodies and small projecting fins are so similar that they seem to have been cut with the same template; alternatively, one was made as an exact replica of the other to create an almost perfect pair.
Dragon-shaped jades make a sudden appearance among the range of jades used in pendant sets in the fifth century BC. However, matched dragon pendants of this quality are rare, having been used only in tombs of the highest ranking individuals.
J. Rawson, Chinese jade: from the Neolith (London, The British Museum Press, 1995, reprinted 2002)