Belt Slide with a Falcon Attacking a Goose

Period: Jin (1115–1234)–Yuan (1271–1368) dynasty

Date: 12th–14th century

Culture: China

Medium: Jade (nephrite)

Dimensions: 1 7/8 × 2 5/8 × 1/2 in. (4.8 × 6.7 × 1.3 cm)

Classification: Jade

Credit Line: Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.483


This carved jade belt slide shows a small falcon hunting a wild goose amid lotus flowers. The motif symbolizes the spring hunting of the Jurchens, a seminomadic people who lived beyond China’s Great Wall in the northeast. Known as chunshui (spring water) in historical texts, the hunt was an important ritual that the Jurchens practiced year after year, and Manchu royalty continued it during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).