The term Kylin and Dragon have been used interchangeably for many decades. This design has been used extensively in all Asian Art, but slightly different in each culture as well as changing over time. During the Ming Dynasty, many forms of art became more detailed as the carves perfected their skills. Newer tools also helped. Money from worldwide trading and technologies were shared. Ming artisans crafted more decorative items for trading and more profound for domestic use. This belt buckle is an example of the heights the Ming carver achieved. The carving is superb. The Dragon is flowing and almost lifelike. Most likely carved during the 16th or 17th century, it would be hard to reproduce today with such elegance. Sometime in the 18th or 19th Century it was mounted into this silver gilt buckle for wearing. Difficult to find anything that compares. The back with an impressed Chinese mark. Minor repair. Approximately 3 3/4" wide. Ming Dynasty - 16th/17th century.