Northwest China / Knife / 12th?11th century B.C.Northwest China
12th?11th century B.C.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese; Northwest Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Northwest China
Title: Knife
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 0
Creation Date: 12th?11th century B.C.
Creation Place: Northwest China
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Bronze inlaid with turquoise
Dimensions: L. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)

A combination of animal pommels, geometric design, and inlay characterizes knives found in non-Chinese contexts in Inner Mongolia and in such northern provinces as Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei. Somewhat similar knives are also known from southern Siberia; however, a greater variety of forms and a higher degree of workmanship distinguish the Inner Mongolian and Chinese examples.

The handle and blade of this knife are cast as a single piece, topped by a ram's head with powerful curving horns. Turquoise inlay accentuates the ram's eyes. A series of thick parallel lines along the hilt is the only other decoration on the knife. Knives with elaborate handles, such as this piece, are thought to signify rank or tribal affiliation and were most likely prized possessions.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 49.136.9
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. John Marriott, Mrs. John Barry Ryan, Gilbert W . Kahn and Roger Wolfe Kahn (children of Addie W. Kahn), 1949
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art . All rights reserved.
AMICA ID: MMA_.49.136.9
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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