14 September 2009
AN INLAID BRONZE AXE
LATE SHANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 12TH-11TH CENTURY BC
The blade tapering in thickness and flaring outwards towards the curved cutting edge, with a recessed rectangular panel on both sides below a taotie mask with black inlay, the nei also with black-inlaid masks above a hafting hole, with grey-green patina and some ferrous and turquoise-blue encrustation; together with a bronze adze, ben, Shang dynasty, of hollow elliptical section, cast on each side in thread relief with a taotie mask between a band of circles repeated in the zigzag border below, with mottled grey-green patina and some malachite green encrustation
8 1/8 and 8¼ in. (20.6 and 21 cm.) long (2)
Axe: acquired prior to 1978.
Adze: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1972.
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Adze: R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, p. 74, fig. 33.
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