Pair of Crossbow Mounts
On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
Bronze, inlaid with silver
Late Eastern Zhou Dynasty
Eastern Zhou Dynasty
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
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.
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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.118.1a-b_PS4.jpg)
overall, 71.118.1a-b_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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