A Chinese spearhead | Mandarin Mansion

A Chinese spearhead

A good Chinese spearhead of the 鎗 or qiang type, with wide leaf shaped blade and acute point. There is a brass bolster cast around the neck of the spear, typical of this style of weapon. Blade in good shape, but pitted from age as is usual on these weapons that had no sheaths and were mostly exposed to the elements. The back of the sleeve was once cut diagonally, you can see from the patina that it happened a while ago. Perhaps this was to more easily remove the spear from its shaft, in order to be thrown in a during the Great Leap. It somehow survived this ill fate, and here it is. The loss at the sleeve should present no problem in fixing it to a shaft.

Overall length: 36.3 cm / 14.3 inch
Blade length: 22 cm / 8.7 inch
Socket inside diameter 28 mm
Socket inside diameter 31 mm
Thickness at base of blade: 10.5 mm
Max blade width: 38 mm
Thickness at widest part: 7.5 mm
Weight: 484 grams

Weighing as much as some lighter swords or sabers, it would have taken considerable strength to wield a spear like this on a long shaft: Spear types mentioned in Qing dynasty regulations are between 3 meters and 4,5 meters long. Those of non-professional civilian militia were often shorter and with lighter heads.

Spearheads are rather hard to date because they have no unexposed areas from which to date the patina like sword tangs. Also, their design changes over the years are quite subtle with many styles overlapping as well. Based on its style and workmanship, I think it is a Qing military spear that probably dates from the 19th century.

With a reconstructed shaft of proper length and dimensions it could make an impressive display piece or good make a good strength training spear for those that want to get serious about traditional Chinese spearmanship.

An archetypical Chinese spearhead of good, representative size and weight.


Interested? Questions?
Contact peter@mandarinmansion.com