Chinese Art :
Warring States Period : Warring States Bronze Spear Head
Warring States Bronze Spear Head - X.0226
11.375" (28.9cm) high
x 3.125" (7.9cm) wide
Additional Information: Asia Art (Thailand) 2002
Location: United States
Whereas before, war was characterized as
a civilized contest between aristocratic
armies, during the Warring States Period
(475-221 B.C.), war evolved into the
chaotic conflict we know it as today.
Kings and princes were replaced on the
battlefield by infantries lead by
military generals. Peasants were
recruited to serve on the front lines.
Warfare intensified, especially in terms
of the duration of campaigns. New arms
and armor were invented, including the
halberd and crossbow. Chariots rode
alongside archers outfitted in iron
helmets and body armor. Defensive walls
were erected in order to repel invaders.
However, despite the turmoil of the
times, the arts continued to thrive.
Bronze casting was revolutionized by the
introduction of the lost-wax technique,
while the alterations of kiln structures
enabled new firing techniques that
resulted in fully developed glazes.
Although this period was marked by
almost constant upheaval, the Warring
States also represents a golden age of
Chinese culture and thought. This
magnificent bronze spearhead is a
perfect symbol of both the battles and
the beauty of the age. Although the
wooden shaft has long since disappeared,
ravaged by the forces of time, we can
still imagine this weapon being wielded
in the hands of ancient Chinese warrior.
The blade of the spear head features an
openwork motif that is both decorative
as well as functional, since it
decreases the weight of the bronze,
making the spear cheaper to produce and
lighter to throw.