Chinese spearhead with intricate sleeve | Mandarin Mansion

Chinese spearhead with intricate sleeve

A good Chinese spearhead of the 鎗 or qiang type, with leaf shaped blade. It has a very interesting and unique brass sleeve with a "mouth"that holds the blade. The mouth is probably a very stylized and simplified version of yazi, one of the sons of the dragons.

Blade in good shape, but pitted from age as is usual on these weapons. They often had no sheaths and were mostly exposed to the elements. The sleeve is well-made and in sound condition, and has a hole for a nail to secure it to the shaft.

Overall length: 28.5 cm / 11.2 inch
Blade length: 19 cm / 7.5 inch
Socket inside diameter 22 mm
Socket inside diameter 29 mm
Thickness at base of blade: 8 mm
Max blade width: 35 mm
Thickness at widest part: 5.5 mm
Weight: 302 grams

Most antique Chinese spearheads are quite heavy and would have taken considerable strength to wield 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. It is known that there were even female militia at some point, even up to the 1930's.

Chinese women's militia of the Communists in Yanan, 1938. Photographer unknown.

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 this spearhead dates from the 19th century.

An interesting Chinese spearhead of smaller size and weight than the norm, well-suited for use by a warrior of smaller statute.


Interested? Questions?