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Pendant in the Shape of a Knotted Dragon

Period:
Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475–221 B.C.)
Date:
3rd century B.C.
Culture:
China
Medium:
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions:
H. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm); W. 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm)
Classification:
Jade
Credit Line:
Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.214.99
  • Description

    A superb example of early Chinese jade carving, this pendant takes the form of a slender dragon whose serpentine body makes a graceful loop. Deep grooves cut into the body give it the appearance of a twisted rope as well as enhance the impression of power. The sinuous dragon, with its curving body and snarling jaws—a prevalent decorative motif in the late Eastern Zhou period—was inspired by the art of the West, which the nomads of the Eurasian steppes brought to their Chinese neighbors.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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