Multi headed dragon statue outlined by a purple halo effect with an orange background

7 dazzling dragons in the V&A

2024 is the Year of the Dragon in the Lunar New Year. If you were born in 2012, this is your year to shine, or breathe fire! According to the Chinese zodiac, individuals born under this sign are believed to possess certain traits associated with the dragon. They tend to be charismatic, ambitious and super confident. Does this sound like you? Here’s a list of our delightful dragons housed in the V&A.

If you like these, check out our list of cutest objects here at the V&A!

Dragon puppet

The Dragon puppet made by Tricia Claridge for the Polka Theatre in 1967 for the Saint George and the Dragon production.

This dragon puppet was made in 1967 for productions at the Polka Theatre, which began as a touring puppet show and is now a children’s theatre based in Wimbledon, London. It is made out of celastic, which is a plastic based fabric which allows the puppeteer to mold the shape to make the dragon. How cool is that? And check out its purple eyes! What colours would you make your own dragon puppet?

Winged dragon statuette

Photograph of a bronze winged dragon statue

This cute bronze statue of a dragon would have been made for someone super wealthy. The technique for setting the cast for this dragon goes back to Medieval times, when, incidentally, dragons were often depicted as being very real threats! How lucky were they to have this beautiful ornament on their mantlepiece? 

Slottizoo Dragon

Print of an illustration of two dragons

These snazzy Pop Art dragons were created by graphic designer, Clifford Richards in the 1960s. These formed a series of popular prints at the time which also included pandas and cats. How fun would this print look in your bedroom?

Water dragon ridge ends

Photograph of a wooden dragon ridge end

This gorgeous tile-set dragon was made to decorate the outside roof corners for palaces and temples. It was believed whenever the rain fell, it was because the dragon’s mouth was open and spouting water. Next time it rains, we bet you will think of this lovely object!

Toy Dragon

Photograph of a toy wooden dragon

This dragon toy, made out of wood, has moving limbs and wings! These toys were made between 1970 and 1990 and you can see this one at the Young V&A. Maybe someone you know who was a child during that time had one of these? How lucky!

Dragon jumper

Photograph of a knitted jumper with an angry dragon design

Okay, we want to wear this knitted dragon jumper immediately! Designers Jay Musson and Stephen Bennington designed and made this unisex jumper in 1987. How would you style this jumper? Chunky shoes? Ripped jeans? So many options!

Dragon and Wang – su shadow puppet

Dragon and Wang - su shadow puppet

And we conclude with another object from the Polka Theatre! This shadow puppet featured in the play Wang-Su the Doctor. It was made out of cardboard and had blowing flames coming out of its mouth! I bet audiences who saw this were blown away, no pun intended.