Chinese dragon balls?

I recently purchased a set of Hong Tze Chinese dragon figurines and each one is holding a ball or orb of some sort.
See example:

http://www.mounteast.com/30314.html

I’ve googled on it some and so far I can’t find any information as to the significance of the ball/orb.
I know I probably have better things to wonder about but not being able to find a answer is starting to bug me so any info on this would appreciated.

Oh, and what the hell is “Hong Tze” anyway? Is it a material, a style, a dynasty?

My sympathy if you’re googling for “dragon ball”…

Oh no, not even.
Mama raised her childen ugly, not stupid. :wink:

I believe it’s a pearl. One-a them Oriental good luck symbol thingies, or some such.

Chinese art often shows the dragon holding the pearl of wisdom, and arising from the sea.

Whoo! Hooo!

Thats it.

“A popular theme is the Sky Dragon (or Dragons) among the clouds gripping the Pearl of Wisdom, or Faith, depending on belief.”

http://www.waybacktimes.com/Col_Dragons.html

Thankya thankya, Reilly.

From here

And you also quarrossimo:)