Qin or Han dynasty, 3rd – 2nd century

Diameter: 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches, 3.7 to 4.4 cm


Three jade sword pommels of disc form, each carved with a wide band of comma-shaped ornament, forming a so-called ‘rice-grain’ pattern. The stone varies from a calcified white to a grey-green colour.

In the Zhou and Han dynasties, short bronze swords were often embellished with a jade pommel, and the scabbard with fittings such as guards, chapes and slides. The disc-type pommel with ‘rice-grain’ pattern was developed at the end of the Eastern Zhou dynasty, around the third century BC.