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AN ARCHAIC BRONZE DAGGER
WARRING STATES

The handle heavily cast with a notched shaft with large flattened notched terminus and hilt, all with a dense pierced and low-relief design of interlaced and confronted stylized dragons with evenly-spaced small raised craters, possibly for the addition of stone inlays, the tapering blade with medial ridge, encrustation; together with a silver-and-gold-inlaid bronze garment hook, Warring States, the arched shaft finely inlaid with dotted feather or scale pattern divided by chevron and horizontal bands, with an animal-head hook at one end and an inlaid button on the underside, inlaid at one end with a bird
Dagger 9½in. (24.1cm.) long, fitted box; garment hook 6¼in. (15.8cm.) long (2)

Lot Essay

For a very similar bronze dagger refer to the Illustrated Catalogue of Ancient Bronze Weaponry in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1995, pp. 216-217, pl. 39

Hilts of comparable design with iron blades exist in gold and in jade. For an example in gold, inlaid in turquoise, excavated from a Spring and Autumn period tomb at Yimencun, Baoji City, Shaanxi, see Wenwu, 1993, no. 10, p. 4, fig. 7. For a jade sword hilt of similar design excavated in Henan in 1978 see, Zhongguo Yuqi Quanji, vol. 3, Hebei Chubansha, 1993, p. 53, no. 88. See, also, Li Xueqin's article "Yimencun jin yuqi wenshi yanjiu" (Designs on the Gold and Jade Wares Unearthed from Yimencun), Wenwu, 1993, no. 10, pp. 15-19, where the bronze and gold versions are illustrated. In the Catalogue for the exhibition, Chinese Jade from Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, p. 291, Jessica Rawson discusses jade and gold hilts, suggesting that the form may be of foreign origin
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