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Pair of Crossbow Mounts

Asian Art

Recent archaeological excavations in China have identified the original function of these superbly decorated objects. The crossbow mounts were attached to the frame of a chariot and held the arms of a crossbow. The care and costly materials expended on these items point to the growing importance of luxury accoutrements in the Zhou dynasty, when personal objects began to compete with bronze ritual vessels as objects of display.

MEDIUM Bronze, inlaid with silver
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 770-256 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Late Eastern Zhou
    DIMENSIONS 7 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (19.7 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 71.118.1a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Pair of Crossbow Mounts, 770-256 B.C.E. Bronze, inlaid with silver, 7 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (19.7 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection, 71.118.1a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 71.118.1a-b_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fittings for a cross-bow. Socketed finial terminating in bird head. Holes for cotter pin. Reddish-brown, inlaid with silver. Inlay design based on geometric patterns emphasizing volutes. Inlay technique of silver used in sheets cut to pattern and in threads. Use uncertain; possibly chariot pole rest. Recent archaeological excavations in China have identified the original function of these superbly decorated objects. The "Fitting" is a coupling on a parasol mount for a chariot. The two parts of the "Fitting" were mounted on sections of a wooden pole, one part was inserted in the other, and the clasp in the shape of a tiger locked them in place. The "Crossbow Mounts" were attached to the frame of a chariot and held the arms of a crossbow. The care and the costly materials that were expended on the "Tubular Fitting" and the "Crossbow Mounts" point to the growing importance of luxury accouterments in the Zhou Dynasty, when personal objects began to compete with bronze ritual vessels as objects of display.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (91%)
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