Finial in the form of a human with dragon

A human figure is presented in profile, with an overly large head and with arms bent at the elbow and with hands turning back to the shoulder. The legs, which are also bent, are treated in a summary fashion. Above the human head is a single-horned dragon, its body arching downward following the concave contour of the human figure. Curving projections and a tail lend the dragon a flamboyant appearance that contrasts with the compact abstraction of the human figure. Incised lines, some of them slanting, define the details of the dragon and the human figure. (Pencil marks [?] on edge; flaws on edges; few flaw cracks; cloudy; cinnabar adhering.)

Historical period(s)
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1300-ca. 1050 BCE
Medium
Jade (nephrite)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.4 cm (3 5/16 x 2 1/16 x 3/16 in)
Geography
China, probably Henan province, Anyang
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.860
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Plaque

Keywords
Anyang period (ca. 1300 - ca. 1050 BCE), carving, China, dragon, nephrite, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

A human figure is presented in profile, with an overly large head and with arms bent at the elbow and with hands turning back to the shoulder. The legs, which are also bent, are treated in a summary fashion. Above the human head is a single-horned dragon, its body arching downward following the concave contour of the human figure. Curving projections and a tail lend the dragon a flamboyant appearance that contrasts with the compact abstraction of the human figure. Incised lines, some of them slanting, define the details of the dragon and the human figure. (Pencil marks [?] on edge; flaws on edges; few flaw cracks; cloudy; cinnabar adhering.)

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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