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Dragon Protome
China, Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), second half of the 13th century
White marble
Inner Mongolia Museum, Hohhot
cat. 204
[click images for full object view]

Dragon Protome Dragon Protome
Dragon Protome

This impressive dragon’s head, which is both a decorative and a protective figure, embellished one of the buildings at Shangdu (“Xanadu”) [map], the summer capital that Khubilai Khan completed in 1258. This type of architectural decoration became popular throughout the Mongol empire in Asia, as indicated by similar objects found in the former territories of the Golden Horde.

  Dragon Protome
The L-shaped, roughly carved rear section of the stone was set into the wall, securing the finely carved head of a hornless dragon.   Dragon Protome


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