Halberd blade (ge)

The long, slender horizontal blade curves downward toward the point; the contour of the lower edge of that blade is interrupted by a broad concave curve that merges with three cusped projections on the hu, or downward elongation of the edge. There is a curved median crest. A narrower, hooked blade projects from the opposite side of the halbred. It curves downward and, on the lower edge, joins two cusped projections. These slender, gracefully proportioned curving blades provide a dramatic contrast with the wide, crested blade that rises vertically between them. Six small rectangular vertical slits arranged on the lower portion of the halberd served to lash it to the wooden shaft. The entire surface of the halberd is covered with a mottled green and, occasionally, blue patina. Earth accretions also appear on the surface of the weapon’s three blades. The wide vertical blade has a horizontal break that subsequently has been repaired.

Historical period(s)
Eastern Zhou dynasty, 5th-4th century BCE
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W: 44 x 29.8 cm (17 5/16 x 11 3/4 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of General and Mrs. Albert Wedemeyer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1980.208a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Weapon and Armament
Type

Weapon: dagger-axe (ji)

Keywords
casting, China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 - 221 BCE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The long, slender horizontal blade curves downward toward the point; the contour of the lower edge of that blade is interrupted by a broad concave curve that merges with three cusped projections on the hu, or downward elongation of the edge. There is a curved median crest. A narrower, hooked blade projects from the opposite side of the halbred. It curves downward and, on the lower edge, joins two cusped projections. These slender, gracefully proportioned curving blades provide a dramatic contrast with the wide, crested blade that rises vertically between them. Six small rectangular vertical slits arranged on the lower portion of the halberd served to lash it to the wooden shaft. The entire surface of the halberd is covered with a mottled green and, occasionally, blue patina. Earth accretions also appear on the surface of the weapon's three blades. The wide vertical blade has a horizontal break that subsequently has been repaired.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Art of the Warring States Period: Change and Continuity, 480-222 B.C. Washington, 1982-1983. cat. 34, p. 75.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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