The East Han jade disc (Bi) surmounted by two scrolling Chi dragons with raised nodes
An East Han jade disc (Bi) surmounted by two scrolling Chi dragons with raised nodes – the largest and best-preserved one discovered to date – is currently being exhibited at the Dingzhou Museum in Hebei province.
The jade disc, also called a Bi, is 30.5 cm high, 24.4 cm in diameter, 1.1 cm thick.
The translucent-celadon jade Bi has a wide band on its edge with structured grain texture on the interior.
The top of the Bi is outlined by the two curled dragons holding a ring on their mouth. The features and feet are engraved with fine lines decorated with clouds. Both sides of the jade have carvings in a dragon shape.
Du Huiping, the deputy curator of Dingzhou Museum, told Chinanews.com that the jade disc was unearthed from an ancient tomb in the suburbs of Dingzhou City in 1969. The owner was Liu Chang, King Mu of Zhongshan State in the East Han Dynasty (25-220AD).
In 1993, the jade disc was appraised as a Class A cultural property under national protection.
Bi, a flat jade disc with a circular hole in the center, is considered to be an opening to eternal life.
The original Bi disc is a ritual item symbolizing the celestial universe used in ceremonies to celebrate the cult of the Sun and Sky.
According to Chinese tradition, the jade disc brings a happy life, protection against disease and injury, and wealth to their owners.