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Place of Origin: CHINA

Date: Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 B.C.)

Overall: 270mm

Reference: 287

Status: Sold

Full Description:

The tubular socket of this spear-head tapers gradually to a circular moulding enclosed within raised edges. This leads into the spear-head itself which shows a pronounced medial ridge and two fullers that meet the medial ridge just below the reinforced tip. The spear-head exhibits a pleasing patina throughout, with colours ranging from dark to yellowish-green.

Bronze weapons dating to ancient times are commonly excavated in China, since they were so frequently included within burial tombs.[1] But this example (as well as Ref. 13 in this exhibition) is distinct from others for its well-preserved form – most other spear-heads of this type have been worn away, so that the lines do not stand out so boldly.

Instances of this spearhead-type – with a pronounced medial ridge and fullers – are rarer than others, but an example (Museum Number 1894,0727.31) in the British Museum displays this same feature, as does one preserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Accession Number: 13.220.140a-h).


Formerly in the collection of Arthur M. Sackler and acquired prior to 1978.


A full conservation report is available which details work carried out to secure the head to the socket by a conservation professional.


[1] Xialong Wu, Material Culture, Power, and Identity in Ancient China, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017, pp. 26-76.


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