The present fitting exhibits the high level of skill of the carver in utilizing the natural color of the stone, evenly balancing the golden russet and nearly flawless white tones. The design, with two opposed dragons encircling a central rectangular aperture, may be based on ancient sword guards, and can be found as early as the Han dynasty, as evidenced by a glass example of similar shape in the collection of the British Museum, illustrated by S. Jenyns in Chinese Art III, New York, 1981, no. 73.
The design seen on the present fitting is also found in jade interpretations of the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Compare a green and brownish-black jade fitting of similar shape, also carved with two chilong around a central aperture, dated to the Yuan dynasty, illustrated by Huang Xuanpei, ed., Jade Wares of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing Unearthed from Shanghai, Shanghai, 2001, p. 106, no. 70. Another, and perhaps more closely related example, also with two chilong, with one holding a stem of lingzhi as is seen on the present lot, dated 14th-15th century and in the collection of the British Museum, was included in the O.C.S. exhibition, Chinese Jade throughout the ages, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1 May - 22 June 1975, no. 349.