Spearhead (明/清 矛頭)

17th–18th century
Steel, gold
L. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm)
Shafted Weapons
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
Despite its heavy surface patina, this spearhead is very similar to the adjacent example in for the form of its blade and the presence of a realistic braided ring rendered in chiseled steel (here at the midpoint, rather than the base of the socket). At its base there is a collar of stylized lotus petals and a ring of the trefoil-like ruyi motif. The surface above this is damascened in gold with simplified designs of flaming pearls and mountains and waves.
La Rocca, Donald J. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. pp. 174, 183, no. 87, ill.