Project Description


This is a decorated spearhead from the Ba culture in the area of China that is now the Sichuan province. The Ba often copied designs from earlier Shangdynasty pieces but then added their own unique decoration. While many non-minority pieces had the decorations made into the molds prior to casting, the Ba generally inscribed their decorations after casting as isthe case with this piece. The decoration is therefore depressed into the bronze rather than raised. The piece dates most likely to around the early Zhou period. It measures 14.3 cm and weighs 57 grams.

These two similar spearheads (mao) are from the Warring States period and are typical designs of the period. The smaller one was excavated in Shanxiprovince. It is undecorated and measures 13 cm in length. It weighs 54 grams. The larger piece was excavated in Henan Province and it has some raised geometric decorations visible underneath the patina. It measures 14.7 cm in length and weighs in at an impressive 115 grams. Both have a raisedeyelet near the socket for lashing to a wooden pole.

These two spearheads date to China’s Warring States period. Both are in excellent condition. The one on the left is 13 cm long and the one on the right is nearly 15 cm long. Both have loops near the base for lashing to the pole and the piece on the right has some decoration that is obscured bythe patina. The left piece was unearthed in the Shanxi Province and the piece on the right was unearthed in Henan Province.