This round bowl is of a beautiful orange-red colour and glassy texture, with flaring mouth. Rising from a ring foot is carved, in low relief, around the exterior a band of sinuous dragons above a dense pattern of C-curls, all below a lappet band. It is an exceptional piece for its beautiful natural colours and meticulous craftsmanship.
Agate is a mineral with beautiful patterns. Thanks to its hardness, varieties of colour, and translucency, it has long been regarded as a precious gemstone in Chinese culture, much favoured by the royal courts and wealthy people who turned it into accessories and works of art. However, agate is hard but crisp, making it difficult to be carved. As a result, there are not many agate carvings after the Warring States period and Han dynasty.
6.4cm high; 14.2cm mouth diameter; 5.1cm foot diameter