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An image of Blade (ko) by


Blade (ko)
Place of origin
Zhou dynasty circa 1100 - 256 BCE → China
Media category
Materials used

25.7 x 10.0 x 1.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Josef and Regina Neumann 1988
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The Zhou were Western neighbours of the Shang and conquered them in 1027 BC. The Zhou maintained many Shang practices, although they did introduce feudalism to reward the many who had served them in their victory. Warfare was a fact of life in ancient China as evident by the large quantities of weapons that have been excavated.

The 'ko' dagger axe is the characteristic weapon of Shang and Zhou. It developed out of earlier stone prototypes. Some of the stone weapons and artefacts used in prehistoric China were common to all neolithic peoples of Asia, but others, like the 'ko' were of purely Chinese origin. The 'ko' also had ritual significance as demonstrated by Shang specimens with jade blades.

Jackie Menzies, 'Early Chinese Art', AGNSW, 1983. IV (b).

Bibliography (1)

Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, not paginated. IV See 'Further Information' for text.

Exhibition history (1)

Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983

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