Sword Guard in the Form of Confronted Dragons

Central Asia

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463

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.

Sword Guard in the Form of Confronted Dragons, Nephrite; carved, Central Asia

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