Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Samarkand Wall Terracotta Dragon with Two Heads


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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Central Asian: Pre 1980: Item # 940023

Please refer to our stock # 23-98 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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PO Box 2175
Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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This two-headed terracotta dragon is a replica of dragons that topped walls surrounding the ancient Central Asian city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The Samarkand wall and its dragons, though long gone, seem to occupy a place in the collective memories of the polyglot population of present-day Uzbekistan. This piece was made by a Tajik artisan who lives near Samarkand, and is a small representation of the long, rich and often perplexing history of Central Asia. Neither the artisan nor anyone else we quizzed—ethnic Uzbeks, Kazaks, Afgans and Russians who call Samarkand home—though they recognized the odd creature, could tell us the story behind the head on the dragon’s tail attacking the neck on its shoulders. It is interesting to speculate and we continue to search for a clue. This whimsical creature is beautifully made and, despite its curious pose, looks more playful than sinister. It is from the late 20th century and is in perfect condition. Dimensions: height 9 ½” (24.2 cm), length 9” (22.9 cm), width 5” (12.7 cm).