18 March 2009
TWO BRONZE SOCKETED ADZE, BEN
SHANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 1600-1100 BC
One of rectangular section, the other of trapezoidal section, and both hollow the entire length including the faceted blade which tapers to a solid curved cutting edge, each cast in thread relief with a broad taotie band within bow-string borders below a narrow taotie band at the opening, one with eyes cast in relief and with a partial mask on the narrow sides of the broad band, with dark grey patina and milky-green and azurite encrustation
8 9/16 and 8 1/16 in. (21.9 and 20.5 cm.) long (2)
J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1972.
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R.W. Bagley, Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1987, pp. 74-5, figs. 32 and 34.
Other bronze adze of this type and date are illustrated by B. Karlgren, "Some Weapons and Tools of the Yin Dynasty", BMFEA, No. 17, Stockholm, 1945, pl., nos. 23-7.
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