Ancestor tablet with dragon

Rectangular plaque; low relief carving with dragon; notched edges; translucent greenish-white. (Calcification; brown spots; nicked flaws.)

Historical period(s)
Western Zhou dynasty, ca. 1050-ca. 950 BCE
Jade (nephrite)
H x W x D: 6 x 3.2 x 0.5 cm (2 3/8 x 1 1/4 x 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Jade, Jewelry and Ornament

Ceremonial object: tablet

China, dragon, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE)

By 1952
C. T. Loo, INC, New York, NY [1]

1953 to 1961
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo, INC., NY [2]

1952 to 1964
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY, mode of acquisition unknown [3]

1964 to 1987
Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY purchased in New York City from Frank Caro Chinese Art on August 27, 1964 [4]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, September 11, 1987 [5]


[1] When Frank Caro, C. T. Loo’s associate, assumed control of C. T. Loo’s (1880-1957) C. T. Loo, INC. in 1952, he re-inventoried the company’s stock and assigned numbers with “E” prefixes. This object was part of Caro’s inventory. See invoice from Frank Caro Chinese Art to Arthur M. Sackler, August 27, 1964, no. E 5656: “Jade plaque, with incised decoration on both s[i]des, 5th century B. C.,” copy in object file.

[2] C. T. Loo, INC. was dissolved by the summer of 1953 and Frank Caro began operating as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Loo continued to play a large role in the business, as he and Caro struck a deal in which profits made on Loo’s stock would be evenly divided and Loo would maintain the lease and rental payments on the company’s gallery space.

[3] In 1961, Loo and Caro’s agreement ended. C. T. Loo & Cie., Paris, France took control of C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York’s stock that C. T. Loo had added to the inventory before his death in 1957. Frank Caro then opened Frank Caro Chinese Art. Caro acquired pieces from Loo’s original stock, but the mode of acquisition is unknown. See invoice cited in note 1.

[4] See invoice cited in note 1.

[5] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953-1961
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980


Rectangular plaque; low relief carving with dragon; notched edges; translucent greenish-white. (Calcification; brown spots; nicked flaws.)

Published References
  • J. Keith Wilson, Jingmin Zhang. Jades for Life and Death. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Jades for Life and Death
Google Cultural Institute
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