Pole axe with supernatural figure

Historical period(s)
Early Western Zhou period, ca. 1050–975 BCE
H x W x D: 33.9 × 15.3 × 3.3 cm (13 3/8 × 6 × 1 5/16 in)
China, Henan province, purportedly from Xunxian
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Weapon and Armament


China, Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1050 - 771 BCE)
Provenance research underway.
Published References
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 254.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kokogaku ronko [Studies in Chinese Archaeology]. Showa 13 Tokyo, 1938-1940. pl. 147, fig. 2.
  • Sueji Umehara. Chugoku shutsudo no ichigun no doriki ni tsuite [One Find of Ancient Bronze Tools in China]. Kyoto. pl. 1.
  • Cheng Te-k'un. Archaeology in China. 3 vols., Cambridge, England. vol. 3: pl. 31a.
  • Dagny Carter. China Magnificent: 5000 Years of Chinese Art. New York. p. 19.
  • Huang Jun. Tsun ku chai so chien chi chin t'u/Zun gu zhai suo jian ji jin tu: Illustrations of bronzes seen by the author. Beijing. p. 42.
  • Compiled by the staff of the Freer Gallery of Art. A Descriptive and Illustrative Catalogue of Chinese Bronzes: Acquired During the Administration of John Ellerton Lodge. Oriental Studies Series, no. 3 Washington, 1946. p. 45, pl. 92.
  • Sarah Allan. He Flies Like a Bird; He Dives Like a Dragon; Who is That Man in the Tiger Mouth?: Shamanic Images in Shang and Early Western Zhou Art. vol. 41, no. 3 Hong Kong, April 2010. p. 51, fig. 14.
  • Doris J. Dohrenwend. Jade Demonic Images from Early China. vol. 10 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1975. pp. 55-78, pl. 18, fig. 65.
  • Rutherford John Gettens, Roy S. Clarke, Jr., W. Thomas Chase. Two Early Chinese Bronze Weapons with Meteoritic Iron Blades. vol. 4, no. 1 Washington, 1971. p. 59, fig. 28.
  • The Horizon Book of the Arts of China. New York. p. 60.
  • Hsueh-chin Li. Several Shang, Chou Objects Collected in America and Australia. no. 12. pp. 72-76.
  • New Frontiers in Global Archaeology: Defining China's Ancient Traditions [Quan qiu hua bei jing xia kao gu xue xin qian yan: jie du Zhongguo gu dai chuan tong]. New York, 2008. p. 310.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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