Period: Timurid period (1370–1507)
Date: 14th–early 15th century
Culture: Central Asia
Medium: Nephrite; carved
Dimensions: H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); W. 4 in. (10.2 cm); D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Heber R. Bishop, 1902
Accession Number: 02.18.765
Timurid royalty admired the qualities of nephrite (jade). The carved pieces that survive from the period include engraved rings and at least two dragon-handled white jade jugs. Also, at least two jade dragon-headed sword guards are known, including this example, created from the finest and rarest type of nephrite—black jade. Known for its hardness, jade is extremely difficult to carve, underscoring the exceptional quality of this highly detailed carving of confronted dragon heads with protruding tongues.