A rare pale green hardstone-inlaid 'chi dragon and mouse' plaque
Qianlong The circular plaque carefully worked in reticulation, depicting a ferocious chi dragon emerging from the central cartouche and clambering upwards to meet a miniature mouse, the mythical beast with powerful hind legs with bifurcated tail, original hardstone fittings. 7.7cm high.
Chi dragons are considered capable of exorcising evil spirits, and a mouse is considered as a motif for numerous sons due to their prolific reproductive ability. Taken together, a chi dragon and rat together, can be a wish for their generations' great success.
The form of the current plaque can be traced back to the tradition of Han dynasty jades. Compare a Han dynasty excavated example of similar form, with chi dragon as the main motif and formed in the similar way, see Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series, Compilation Board of the Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics, Beijing, p.75, pl.57.
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