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HOME : Chinese Art : Warring States Period : Warring States Bronze Spear Head
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Warring States Bronze Spear Head - X.0226
Origin: China
Circa: 475 BC to 221 BC
Dimensions: 11.375" (28.9cm) high x 3.125" (7.9cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: Asia Art (Thailand) 2002
Location: United States
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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. - (X.0226)


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