I recently wrote about the French auction of Yves Saint Laurent’s artworks which included two Chinese bronze animal heads from a collection of twelve which were looted in the 19th century from the old Summer Palace in Beijing by French and British forces. I also commented that the whereabouts of seven of the original twelve zodiac heads are known. The remaining five are still lost as far as we know.
Wellington Wang, a well-known local art collector, told the TVBS news channel he was contacted by a businessman who claimed to have the bronze dragon’s head and was initially looking to auction it. … The dragon’s head could be more valuable than the rabbit and rat … due to its highly symbolic status in Chinese culture, the newspaper said, quoting another local antique collector.
It’s a well known fact that the dragon symbol from the Chinese zodiac is one of the most revered. The year of the dragon is considered an extremely lucky year in which to have a child and births always increase in a dragon year.
It should be no surprise that I have two cousins born in the year of the dragon. Both of their parents planned for their kids to be born that year in an effort to give their kids the best luck possible. Chinese superstition runs deep in my family and dragons are no exception. With so much faith in dragons, recovering the dragon’s head would be a tremendous boon to Chinese morale after the results of the recent auction.
There’s no confirmation yet the dragon’s head has been found, but I hope this news report is indeed true and we can at last know where one more missing piece of this treasure is, and at some point reunite all the pieces of the “Water Clock” fountain.