BK-17121

Rock crystal barrel in the shape of a dragon, Italy, ca. 1625 - ca. 1650rock crystal, rhinestone, gold, émail, ruby, h 19,0cm × W × D 14,5cm 60,5cm. BK-17 121. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Image of rock crystal with a frame of gold with rubies and enamel, depicting a dragon. The animal lies on its four legs with gaping mouths. The wings are missing.

The dragon shape of the barrel says something about the special power which was attributed to rock crystal, if it came in contact with poison, it will discolor or crack. Dragon's blood was regarded as the most toxic substance known to exist. The dragon, which now resembles a crocodile, originally had wings.