Length: 8 1/2 inches, 21.5 cm

Pottery figure of a striding dragon

Northern Wei dynasty, 5th or 6th century

A pottery figure of a striding dragon, the thin, snake-Iike body supported on two crouching front legs and two upright back legs. The neck has two “wings”, the face has large, disc shaped eyes and bifid snout. The tail is raised. The grey pottery is covered in white slip and has the remains of the original orange pigments.

This dragon is highly stylized and quite complicated, obviously a figment of the potter’s imagination. A closely comparable painted pottery figure of a striding dragon from the collection of Alfred and Ivy Clark is in the Meiyintang collection.1

Provenance: Collection of Prof. Michael Besser, London

  1. Krahl, R Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Volume Three (1), Paradou Writing. London 2006, no. 1162, pp. 156-7