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Ancient and World Dragons: Dragon Tiles

Other dragons: Medieval Dragons and Victorian and Folklore Dragons

Dragon bar in media room, Hollywood Hills, California

Dragon Bar in Media Room
Hollywood Hills, California

We do not know what the dragon means, just as we do not know the meaning of the universe, but there is something in the image of the dragon that is congenial to man's imagination, and thus the dragon arises in many latitudes and ages. It is, one might say, a necessary monster... ~Jorge Luis Borges


Dragons are found in nearly every culture. The earliest recorded dragon, Kur, the Sumerian dragon who stole the goddess Erishkigal shortly after the formation of the world, was first written about as early as 2700 BC. Dragons have a documented history on six continents (that we know).

Dragons in the Ancient and World Dragons fall into these general areas:

  • Cradle of Civilization dragons, such as the Sumerian Kur, oldest known dragon.

  • Asian dragons. Far eastern dragons here can be clasified by number of toes: Chinese imperial sky dragons have five toes, and often a fireball. Ordinary Chinese dragons, for want of a better word, have fewer toes, usually four. Japanese dragons traditional have three toes. You will also find here the Philippine moon-eating bakunawa and a Japanese nightmare-eating baku. While not a true dragon, a baku is nice to have in the event of bad dreams. Korean dragons are primarily benevolent creatures that bring blessings, rain and clouds, or protections; Korean dragons with opposable thumbs (four toes) can carry Yeouiju wish-granting amulet, while the less evolved three-toed dragons cannot.

  • Mythic dragons, the Islamic World dragon, the Peridexion tree of India, the Nordic dragon who wraps himself around the roots of Yggdrasil, the world tree. While many of these dragon images are medieval, the myths are ancient so I have included them in this section.

I currently have nearly 100 dragons available. Many dragon tiles have migrated as far as Japan, Norway, Tasmania, the UK, both coasts of Canada, Belgium, and throughout the United States. Each dragon is described briefly.

Ancient and World Dragons

Ancient dragons on marble tiles, part 1

    From top left:

  • Ouroboros dragon from lost alchemical tract by Synesius, 4th century Byzantium

  • Kur, Chaos monster and the first known dragon. Sumerian, 2000 B.C.

  • Midgard dragon. 17th century Icelandic

  • Kur stole the goddess Ereshkigal immediately upon the formation of the world. Sumerian, 2000 B.C.

  • Bakunawa, a giant sea serpent dragon from the Philippines with a mouth the size of a lake. The Bakunawa eats the seven moons and causes eclipses. To keep the moons from completely being swallowed, startle the Bakunawa by banging pots and pans. This will cause him to spit out the moon back into the sky.

  • Qing dynasty dragon wih red pearl. This dragon was emblem on the Chinese flag up to 1912.

  • Hebrew dragon, 1277-1286, from illuminated manuscript in the British Museum

  • Islamic Wonders of Creation Dragon from an Illumination of Persian version the 'Aja'ib al-makhluquat, Islamic Wonders of Creation Dragon circa 1650

  • World dragon from the Clavis Artis, a German alchemical manuscript translated from Arabic into German in 1236

  • Aztec Quetzalcoatl dragon devouring a man

  • Zoroastrian dragon, late 17th century German translation

  • The peridexion tree of India. Doves gather in the safety of the peridexion tree for its sweet fruit. The dragon fears the shadow of the peridexion tree and stays on its unshaded side. Doves in its tree or its shadow are safe; those leave it are caught and eaten by the dragon.

Ancient dragons on marble tiles, part 2

    From top left:

  • Blue Wish-granting Water dragon (three toes)

  • Ketos dragon mosaic, Italy AD 300. The Ketos Trois was a gigantic sea dragon sent by Poseidon to plague Troy as punishment for King Laomedon's failure to pay him for the building of the sea walls. An oracle divined that only an offering of the king's daughter as sacrificed would rid of Troy of the beast. Hesione was chained to the rocks, where she was rescued by Herakles
  • Japanese fire dragon (three toes)

  • Early Japanese nightmare-eating baku. If you wake with a bad dream, call out to the baku who will come and eat the bad dream.

  • Draco Aethiopicus alarus, Winged dragon of ethiopia, 1572

  • Red Qing dynasty dragon

  • Imperial Sky dragon (five toes) with fireball

  • Australian Bunyip dragon

  • Two Norse dragons (Old Norse, dreki): Nidhoggr, Norse dragon who gnaws at the roots of Yggdrassill, the world tree. And Jormungandr, the Midgard serpent. Thor used the head of Hymir's largest ox as fishing bait. From a 17th century Icelandic manuscript.

  • Carta Marina sea dragon - from the 'Carta Marina' map of Scandinavia and Iceland produced between 1527 and 1539 by Olaus Magnus, the archbishop of Uppsala, after his exile to Danzig. Technically, a medieval dragon, but included here because Nordic dragons themselves are pre-medieval.

  • Viking dragonship from early Anglo-Saxon star chronicle

  • Korean four-toed dragon from the drum at Sungnyemun in South Korea

Dragon Specifications

Title: Dragons

Tile: Tumbled Botticino marble

Size: 6 inch square tiles (15.4 cm)

Thickness: 3/8 inch (1 cm)

Weight: 22 ounces (.62 kg) each tile

*Also available in 4 inch tiles


4-inch Dragons: $68

6-inch Dragons: $77

Prices do not include shipping costs.

Other Dragons

Some dragons have moved, due to overcrowding:

Medieval and Bestiary Dragons.

Post-Medieval and Victorian Folklore Dragons.

Aztec quetzelcoatl dragon
Aztec quetzelcoatl dragon

Even More Dragons

Medieval and Bestiary Dragons

Dragons from medieval illuminations, bestiaries, and tracts, are here: Medieval and Bestiary dragons.

Post-Medieval to Victorian Folklore Dragons

Due to overcrowding, Post-Medieval to Victorian Folklore Dragons have taken up residence elsewhere.

Quick Order Dragons

You can quick order dragons. Dragons usually ship fairly quickly. Here's how to order dragons:

  • Order dragons.

    If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tiles, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate.