Bronze handle with inlays; no surface decor on the blade; T'ao t'ieh design on the handle. Grey-ivory jade with variation of brown and blue clouds; bronze patinated handle; hollowed handle, with green crystal-like inlay.

Ceremonial mao spear head, 1600-1046 BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more
G214expand_more

A bronze spear head fastened to a long pole would have served as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat. This example, composed of a jade blade and a bronze hilt, was far more rare and would only have had a ceremonial function. The jade spear has a central ridge creating a beveled surface resembling a real spear blade. The surface of the bronze hilt is cast with taotie animal masks inset with green stones. Among the findings at the Shang capital, Anyang, bronze spear heads were common, whereas spears made of bronze and jade, like this one, were rare.

Details
Title
Ceremonial mao spear head
Role
Artist
Accession Number
50.46.268
Curator Approved

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Bronze handle with inlays; no surface decor on the blade; T'ao t'ieh design on the handle. Grey-ivory jade with variation of brown and blue clouds; bronze patinated handle; hollowed handle, with green crystal-like inlay.