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Dagger-Axe (ge)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Shang dynasty (1600 – 1046 B.C.)



About this artwork

The power of the Shang kings depended on their control of bronze production for warfare. The dagger-axe, hafted onto a wood shaft, was the premier weapon of combat. Finely cast examples excavated from tombs suggest that such objects also had strong ritual significance. The rounded butt of this specimen contains a bird in raised lines, which may originally have been inlaid with turquoise.


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Arts of Asia


Dagger-Axe (ge)


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1600 BCE–1046 BCE




26.4 × 7.4 × 0.8 cm (10 3/8 × 2 15/16 × 11 in.)

Credit Line

Samuel M. Nickerson Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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