Dragon-shaped green jade ring
Shang dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BC)
Diameter 4.6 cm, Thickness 0.6 cm
Made from greyish green jade, the surface of this object is marked with cinnabar. The dragon has a protruding upper lip and a gaping mouth. Its eyes are rectangular with square pupils, its horns are pressed against its neck, and a toothed spine protrudes around the edge of the piece. All the decoration is executed in twinned lines of bold incised carving. It is a masterpiece among late Shang dynasty jade dragons.
Shang dynasty jade wares are often marked with cinnabar, illustrating that they were the valued possessions of the Shang royal family and aristocracy. Such regulated methods of craftsmanship are extremely significant for authentication of ancient jades. CAO PING