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Blade

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1250 BC-1050 BC (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jade blade, mounted on a bronze handle

  • Museum number:

    FE.21-1984

  • Gallery location:

    China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery, case 9

This object is a kind of weapon or dagger-axe called a ge in Chinese. Its blade is of jade mounted on a bronze handle, and in the shape of a bird's head with a long curled beak and upturned tail. The dagger axe was mounted at right angles to a long wooden pole, and was the main weapon of war during the Shang dynasty (1766–1122 BC). The fragile jade blade of this example suggests that its use was restricted to ceremonial purposes. Dagger axes and other objects made of bronze and jade were often buried with the deceased.

Physical description

Jade blade mounted on a bronze handle in the shape of a bird head with a long curled snout and upturned tail

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1250 BC-1050 BC (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Jade blade, mounted on a bronze handle

Dimensions

Length: 33.4 cm

Descriptive line

Jade blade with a bronze handle in the shape of a dragon, China, Shang dynasty, 1200-1150 BC.

Labels and date

Halberd with bronze handle
Shang dynasty
1250-1050 BC

A jade halberd was not a weapon for combat but a symbol of authority.

Carved nephrite jade and cast bronze

Sir Harry Garner Gift
Museum no. FE.21-1984 [2007]

Subjects depicted

Bird

Collection

East Asia Collection

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