Knotted Dragon Pendant, Shang dynasty (ca. 1600–1046 B.C.), 13th–11th century BC. Jade (nephrite). H. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm); W. 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm). Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, 1985 (1985.214.99). © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This pendant takes the shape of a dragon with a sinuous body grooved to resemble twisted rope. It illustrates the extraordinary talent and skill of early Chinese jade carvers, in whose hands intractable jade seems a supple and malleable material.