Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>

Objects On Loan

Showing 12 of 67

Open Access

Dragon Plaque

Artist: Unknown Chinese Artist Primary
3rd century BCE
Dimensions: 3.19 x 9.5 x 0.13 in. (8.1 x 24.13 x 0.32 cm)
Object Type: Carving
Creation Place: Asia, China
Medium and Support: Jade
Credit Line: On loan from Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Sackler Collections (S3686)
Accession Number: L2021.07.02
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

In its own category and prized above all other stones in Chinese culture since Neolithic times, jade (nephrite) is a mineral found within metamorphic rocks in mountains. An extremely hard stone to carve, it is valued for its color and translucency when polished. Plaques like this were originally placed in tombs as protection. Intricately carved jade objects are used and appreciated in the scholar's studio.

This object was featured in the Fairfield University Art Museum's exhibition ink/stone (January 21-March 5, 2022). To see a virtual recreation of this exhibition, you can access our Matterport tour


Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, Connecticut, ink/stone, January 21-March 5, 2022.


Click a term to view other artwork with the same keyword

Refers to the the culture, style, and period of the Zhou dynasty, a period spanning ca. 1050 to 256 BCE. The Zhou dynasty succeeded the Shang dynasty. The area ruled by the Zhous was very large but their rule was not direct and so was often challenged. The Zhou period is divided into the Western Zhou (ca. 1050-771 BCE) and the Eastern Zhou (771-256 BCE). There was a great deal of regional diversity in the Zhou period, but overall it was a time of noteworthy political, philosophical, religious, and social changes. Many basic Chinese traditions were established and the earliest Chinese literature dates from the Zhou period, including the writing of Confucius. The population increased at this time and iron tools became more widespread, leading to agricultural advances. The rise of a merchant class and the development of coinage created a bigger market for artistic wares, of which bronzes remained the most important, becoming more secular and serving as symbols of status, wealth, and authority. Longer inscriptions are found on Zhou bronzes and are now valuable records of early Chinese history. The decoration of bronzes became more abstract, geometric, and colorful with an increased use of relief and precious inlay. The many small states of the Zhou dynasty became virtually independent of central authority and it was the Qin who eventually defeated the other states to establish the first unified Chinese rule.
Furnishings and Equipment
The Furnishings and Equipment hierarchy contains terms for objects that are primarily movable that provide comfort, convenience, or protection in dwellings, places or business, or other public or private spaces. They may be useful or ornamental and may be used in indoor or outdoor spaces. Regarding other Hierarchies: Terms for objects with the primary purpose of storage receptacles or other forms of container (e.g., "candle boxes," "footlockers") are in the Containers hierarchy.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."
General term for several varieties of hard and soft, fine-grained rock composed of jadeite, nephrite, serpentine, or other mineralogically related materials; usually having a color ranging from dark green to green-white. Jade takes a high polish and has been used since prehistoric times for jewelry, small utensils, carvings, vases, and other ornamental objects. Some processing techniques have been used to enhance the color of inferior stones: B-jade has been bleached to remove brown stains, while C-jade has been impregnated with resins to increase its translucency; A-jade is untreated.

Additional Images

Click an image to view a larger version

Portfolio List

This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve? Please contact the museum registrar at