Blade

1250 BC-1050 BC (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Jade blade, mounted on a bronze handle
Brief Description
Jade blade with a bronze handle in the shape of a dragon, China, Shang dynasty, 1200-1150 BC.
Physical Description
Jade blade mounted on a bronze handle in the shape of a bird head with a long curled snout and upturned tail
Dimensions
  • Length: 33.4cm
Style
Gallery Label
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)
Subject depicted
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.21-1984

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record createdDecember 22, 1999
Record URL