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Jade Bi-Disk with Dragon, Phoenix, and Cloud Designs

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Period: Warring States period (475-222 BCE)
Dimensions: width: 14.2 cm, disk diameter: 11.5 cm

This bi-disk is sculpted from white jade quarried from Hetian in Xinjiang. Each face of the bi-disk features six circles of curling clouds in shallow relief with intagliated lines. The hole of the bi-disk prominently features a single-horned dragon with the body of an unidentified creature, features resembling wings, and a long, coiled tail. Each side of the bi-disk is embellished with an elongated phoenix with a long quill on its head and trailing, curling tail feathers. The styles of the dragon and phoenixes are vivid, and the designs on the surface are distinct from ordinary designs of the period. The exquisitely polished designs of curling clouds harmonize with the dragon and phoenixes and were chosen instead of the more common grain, floral, and beaded designs of that time. Among the many jade bi-disks of the Warring States period, this piece is the most sophisticated. Judging from the style, it would probably have served as a prominent ornament, and the wearer would have belonged to a high social class.


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