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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5830
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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S: Red Chinese Stone Dragon. Heavy and about 6". Thanks for

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For Robert S: Red Chinese Stone Dragon. Heavy and about 6" long. Thanks for taking a look!

Hi Daniel,

Many thanks for the Q. and pictures of the red dragon.

Can you do a hardness test for me. Pick an out-of-the-way place like the base of a foot and see if you can easily make a scratch with a steel needle.

Thanks and wait to hear,

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
I did the test and indeed can quite easily scratch the surface. I have a feeling this isn't a favorable characteristic.

Thanks! Yes unfavorable if you're wanting it to be rose quartz, but this stuff has its merits too. One more thing: does the dust you raise with the needle feel slippy/soapy?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
A graphite feel.

"Graphite" is an excellent way to describe it! and that clinches it.

It's made from a naturally occurring mineral called Shoushan stone in China- and easily recognized by its characteristically greasy feel and softness when scratched with a needle. Normally it's cre***** ***** marbled with reddish ocher and traditionally used for carving signature seals.

Your piece has been further enhanced with a red dye to give it a look of rose quartz, one of the most prized hardstones of the orient. Here's a rose quartz recumbent horse that just sold for $3000. Quartz is harder even than glass, so ones hat goes off to the carvers of these especially in the days before diamond tipped cutting tools.

The carving on yours shows some pleasing fluidity and gesture but the lack of detail leaves much to be desired. Strictly speaking, in the pantheon of mythical Asian beasts, this is a chilong, a small hornless dragon always recognized by his forked or double tail. Chilongs are a highly popular and ever-present feature of fengshui as they are believed to protect the home from fire and winds.

I don't think yours is particularly old, probably last quarter of the 20th century or newer, so not old enough to have gathered any premium for being antique.

It would sell on line (eBay etc) in the $20 - $40 range. So $80 full retail/replacement value.

Hope this is useful info!

Best wishes,

Robert S. and other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Cool little beast. I'll put him in my growing growling pantheon of creatures near the outside door. Getting crowded over there! Thanks, Robert.
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
I'm doing follow-up research online and my dragon checks out as Shoushan stone, completely. Impressed with your deductions. Cheers

....growing growling pantheon

I like it! Glad the Shoushan diagnosis checked out, thanks for confirming.

Have a great day, R.