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.
Heber R. Bishop , New York (until 1902; donated to MMA)
Washington. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," April 14, 1989–July 6, 1989, no. 51.
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," August 13, 1989–November 5, 1989, no. 51.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600," January 22, 2005–April 15, 2005.
Artist: Date: Grip and guard, second half of the 17th century; blade, late 18th–19th century Accession Number: 36.25.1298 Date: Grip and guard, second half of the 17th century; blade, late 18th–19th centuryMedium: Steel, jade (nephrite), gold, copper, diamondAccession: 36.25.1298On view in:Gallery 379