Antique Chinese Soapstone Carved Dragon - China 19th/20th Century Oriental Dragon Mythical Beast Figurine

£75.00 GBP

Quantity

Materials

  • Stone
2
A finely carved green soapstone antique/vintage Chinese sculpture of a dragon or mythical beast.

Intricately carved and in good original condition.

Hardstone carving is one of the oldest arts in China, dating back to the fifth millennium B.C.

It was not until the Qing dynasty, however, that an abundant supply of raw material, extraordinary craftsmanship, and keen imperial patronage allowed the art to flourish.

28cm wide, 10cm high.

Soapstone is a soft rock, that has been carved by the Chinese for centuries, and is still being carved today. The name derives from the soap-like feel that some of the softer grades of soapstone have. The softness of the rock is due to talc in its composition, and the amount of talc can vary from 80% (very soft) to about 30%. On the Mohs scale of hardness, soapstone has a hardness of 1 to 5, whereas jade has a hardness of 6 to 6.5. It is often possible to scratch a piece of soapstone with a fingernail or knife blade. Because of continuing production over several centuries, it can be difficult to date soapstone carvings, and there are many that were made for the tourist market. Soapstone carvings are generally not expensive and the quality of the carving and the size and colouring of the soapstone contribute to the determination of value. Colours of soapstone can vary and include off-white, red, green and brown.
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