Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sword Guard in the Form of Confronted Dragons

Period:
Timurid period (1370–1507)
Date:
14th–early 15th century
Culture:
Central Asia
Medium:
Nephrite; carved
Dimensions:
H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); W. 4 in. (10.2 cm); D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Classification:
Jade
Credit Line:
Gift of Heber R. Bishop, 1902
Accession Number:
02.18.765
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.
Related Objects

Ritual Object (Cong)

Date: ca. 2400 B.C. Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 2004.52 On view in:Gallery 207

Sword handle

Date: 18th–19th century Medium: Jade (nephrite) with gold and stone inlays Accession: 02.18.769 On view in:Gallery 222

Sword handle in the shape of a horse’s head

Date: 18th–19th century Medium: Jade (nephrite) with gold and stone inlays Accession: 02.18.778 On view in:Gallery 222

Basin

Date: dated 1774 Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 02.18.689 On view in:Gallery 222

Belt Slide with a Falcon Attacking a Goose

Date: 12th–14th century Medium: Jade (nephrite) Accession: 1991.483 On view in:Gallery 216