Water Buffalo and Herd boy

Historical period(s)
Ming or Qing dynasty, 1600-1800
H x W x D: 4.6 x 10.9 x 7.7 cm (1 13/16 x 4 5/16 x 3 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jade, Sculpture


China, herding, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), water buffalo, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

A large piece of jade with a pure color like this was an expensive luxury item in the Ming dynasty. The craftsman took great pains to give the water buffalo and herdsboy definition while not grinding away any extra valuable stone unnecessarily. The boy's struggle to stay mounted by grabbing onto the buffalo's horn adds humor to this probable desk ornament or paperweight. Fine details, such as the rein attached to a ring in the buffalo's nose and the wispy tail hairs, provide evidence of the jade worker's consummate skill.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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