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Jade Jar of Dushan


The Jade Jar of Dushan, now kept in the Beihai Park in Beijing, was made in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and was China's earliest large-scale jade-carved article.

The giant jade jar was carved out of a whole big piece of colorful dark jade stone and it was only used for containing and storing wine. Oceanic dragons and animals coming in and out among sea waves were carved on all sides and their figures and designs are vivid in shape, and great and tremendous in momentum. The jar is five meters in circumference, weighs 3.5 tons and can hold 1.5 tons of alcoholic drink.

It was said the giant jade jar was transported from the other place and then placed on Qionghua Island by Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty, in 1286 and used to store wine to entertain the meritorious generals and ministers in founding his empire.

The Jade Jar of Dushan was quite different from jade articles that featured the style of being slim and fragile in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) but demonstrated the straightforward spirit of exploiting the country in the Yuan Dynasty. It was the earliest large-scale jade carving craftwork in China and marked the milestone in the development of Chinese jade craft.  

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