Lot 1124. Two bronze ge blades, Shang-Early Western Zhou dynasty, 14th-10th century BC; 12¾ and 8¼ in. (32.5 and 20.9 cm.) long. Estimate USD 8,000 - USD 10,000. Price realised USD 21,250© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The larger is cast in intaglio on each side at the top of the blade with a human face between two angled loops at the corners, and in front of a raised stop ridge with lateral flanges that separates the blade from the long tapered tang that is pierced with three holes. The blade of the smaller is cast down the center of each side with two cicadas of diminishing size, and the end of the pierced tang is cast on one side with a dragon and on the other with a very stylized bird or pictograph.

Provenance: Raymond A. Bidwell (1876-1954) Collection.
The Springfield Museums, Springfield, Massachusetts, accessioned in 1962.

LiteratureBoth: The Raymond A. Bidwell Collection of Chinese Bronzes and Ceramics, Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1965, pp. 20-21.
First: R. Spelman, The Arts of China, C.W. Post Center, Greenvale, New York, 1977, p. 31, no. 27.

Exhibited: First: C.W. Post Center, Long Island University, Greenvale, New York, The Arts of China, 4 February - 27 March 1977, no. 27.

Note: The first, larger, ge dagger is very similar not only in the inclusion of a similar human face on both sides, but also the angled loops and the same kind of tang, to one in the Werner Jennings Collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by M. Loehr in Chinese Bronze Age Weapons, University of Michigan, 1956, p. 177, no. 86, and pl. XXXV. The heads on both the present dagger and that published by Loehr are very similar, with the same facial features and long hair.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of ArtNew York21 - 22 March 2013