Ge Dagger-axe of Xia, King of Zhou

Accession No. R018841
Period Eastern Chou
Material Bronze
Findspot Tomb No. 01 Shan-piao-chen Site
Geographic Location Shanpiao Town, Weihui City, Henan Province, China
Dimension L. 18.1 cm


This dagger-axe was unearthed from Shanbiao Town Tomb M1, Weihui City, Henan Province and was announced as one of our Significant Antiquities of the nation. According to research, this piece originally belonged to King Jing of Zhou, although it was discovered from Shanbiao Town Tomb M1, the tomb of a noble Daifu of Jin State; the dagger-axe was granted to the gentleman as a prize for fighting against Prince Zhao along with the Zhou King. It was found at the northeast corner of the tomb along with the Xuanfu Ge dagger-axe indicating they were cherished. The ge has three main parts, which are the yuan blade, the curved down hu below the yuan, and the tang for fixing the wooden bi shaft. This specimen has a short but broad yuan that is triangular in shape, the hu is partly missing and has a lashing hole; the tang has a tubular eye with two sets of horizontal slits and a flat end with a hole in the center. The piece of bronze is thick, it is with a grey surface with a red tint and several purple spots. On one side of the yuan an inscription, with 7 characters in two lines, reads “Zhou Wang Xia Chi Yuan Yong Ge”, suggesting the piece belonged to Xia, King of Zhou. The character “Ge” was damaged during rust removal. Around the edge of the yuan blade is a 1 cm wide seal-like mark, which is possibly the trace of a scabbard. The object was cast with the piece-mold technique.