East Asia, China (possibly Tibet), ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A wonderful brass trumpet with a bell that is finely delineated with the head of a dragon presenting an open mouth, elegant chased and bas relief details, a ribbed bulb-like form behind the head of the dragon flanked by 'beaded' borders and scalloped sections adorned by leaf motifs and a textured ground to perhaps represent dragon skin, a tube-shaped body, a circular, cupped mouthpiece, and a suspension chain fitted through two integral loops. Dragons have been part of Chinese culture for at least 7,000 years. In China, dragons have long symbolized power, creativity, heaven, and good fortune. Beyond its fascinating iconography, this piece possesses a rich patina, a strong presence, and a fabulous custom stand! Size: 15.125" L x 4.25" H (38.4 cm x 10.8 cm); 12.625" H (32.1 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired before 2000.
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Surface wear commensurate with age. A few indentations to the body and periphery of mouthpiece. Expected bending to wire extensions from dragon visage. Nice remains of red pigment on the dragon's head and snout.