Yue with Dragon Motif

Accession No. R015471
Period Shang Dynasty
Material Bronze
Findspot Tomb No. 1384 Hsi-pei-kang, Yin-xu Site
Geographic Location Hou-Chia-Chuang village, Anyang, Honan province, China
Dimension L. 15.3 cm; W. 15 cm; T. 0.8 cm; Diam of circle 6 cm


The Yue is a large axe that was mostly for ceremonial use, which symbolized the power of the owner. The Shang yues often become wider towards the distal end, while this yue has two parallel sides and a rounded end which makes it a rare find. The artifact has two rectangular holes, with one larger than the other. There is also a round hole located at the center of the piece; a pair of dragon motifs, sitting back to back, are located above the hole. The dragons have “” character shaped eyes and bulging eyeballs. The rest of the front remains blank. On the opposite side of the artifact colored organic material with textile prints and cinnabar has been attached. The Whole piece was made with the piece mold casting technique.