Western Zhou pendants of this type, with their transformational humanoid and dragon motifs, evolved from Shang prototypes which depict a crouching human with bent arms framing the torso above the sharply bent legs, and wearing a headdress. Two such insignia/pendants of curved outline from the Shang dynasty tomb of Lady Fu Hao at Anyang are illustrated in The Jades from Yinxu, Beijing, 1982, pls. 109 and 113. During the Western Zhou dynasty the curved arms and torso were transformed into the coiled body of a dragon and the headdress usually into a dragon that either surmounted the head or arched back behind the head.
Western Zhou pendants were made either in an upright profile or a more unusual curved profile like that of the present pendant and one in the Qing Court Collection, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 40 - Jadeware (I), Hong Kong, 1995, p. 122, pl. 102. On this pendant, the dragon rather than being on top of the head is behind the head. This is also true of two similar pendants illustrated by Yang Boda in Chinese Archaic Jades from the Kwan Collection, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1994, nos. 132 and 133. Also illustrated is a rubbing of a late Western Zhou pendant carved with similar iconography, but an upright rather than curved body, from Tanghu, Xinzheng county, Henan province. Another similar pendant, formerly in the Eumorphopoulos Collection, is illustrated by S. Jenyns in Chinese Archaic Jades in the British Museum, London, 1951, pl. XXXVIII B, which has a small suspension loop formed by the upswept hair in place of the dragon on top of the head. The pendant appears to be equally thin, and is also beveled along the front edge of the face, which has the same distinctive concave profile as that of the present pendant, as do the other aforementioned pendants. A pair of related pendants, but not of curved outline, dated 9th century BC, is illustrated by J. F. So in Chinese Jades from the Cissy and Robert Tang Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2015, p. 95-96, no. 14b. The author also illustrates, p. 97, figs. 14.1 and 14.2, two other pendants of this type, each of curved outline, the first from Jin state cemetery M63 at Tianma-Qucun, the second a rubbing of a pendant from Rui state cemetery M27 at Liangdaicun, Hancheng.