The tang still retains the shape derived from the animal's head that appeared on early profane knivers in the An-yang area. The original meaning of the profane knife was lost when it became a ritual dagger-axe and the crested bird took place of the animal's head. In this example tyhe space has been filled with a dragon, here almost entirely dissolved, with the head turned toward the blade. The eye and curled tail are still discernible. A t'ao-t'iehmask, alos strongly dissolved, appears just under the lugs. A C-shaped horn can be seen in the upper right corner. A band of spiral decor runs from the base of the mask to the point of the blade. Patina green

Ceremonial dagger, 12th-11th century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Bronzeexpand_more

Bequest of Alfred F. Pillsburyexpand_more  50.46.68

Not on Viewexpand_more
Details
Title
Ceremonial dagger
Role
Artist
Accession Number
50.46.68
Curator Approved

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The tang still retains the shape derived from the animal's head that appeared on early profane knivers in the An-yang area. The original meaning of the profane knife was lost when it became a ritual dagger-axe and the crested bird took place of the animal's head. In this example tyhe space has been filled with a dragon, here almost entirely dissolved, with the head turned toward the blade. The eye and curled tail are still discernible. A t'ao-t'iehmask, alos strongly dissolved, appears just under the lugs. A C-shaped horn can be seen in the upper right corner. A band of spiral decor runs from the base of the mask to the point of the blade. Patina green