golden wood carvingL350xD25xH130, China

This golden wood carving used to be center pediment of an ornamental object, perhaps on small shrine in a temple.

On the carving, there are 2 dragons chasing after a pearl.  Dragons are believed to be mythical creatures from the sky, they need to attain a certain quality to become a saint.  After a few hundred years, the essence of what they have learnt from nature would become a pearl like pellet.  The dragon would spit out the pearl for it absorb the spirit of nature and the bigger the pearl would grow.  One day while a dragon was practicing with his pearl, another dragon decided to take this pearl to speedup his own attainment. The bad dragon spit out his pearl hoping it would absorb the other, the two pearls melted and became one giant pearl, both dragons wanted to take it in and started using all their tricks.  Their fight upset the nature of the universe and the Jade Emperor took them in and set the pearl on the temple which would be protected by the dragons for good

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