Large Jade Basin with Dragons
March 5, 2014
Chinese Decorative Arts Gallery
Above: Large Basin with High-Relief Design of Five Dragons, Nephrite, 20th century, gift of John and Maria Dirlam, 2006.610
This 20th-century masterpiece depicts five dragons—associated with the Emperor, the heavens, water, clouds, and fertility—in pursuit of three flaming jewels that symbolize transcendent wisdom. The artist used powerful diamond drills to coax the misty scene from a massive boulder of forest green nephrite.