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Hartill 2.166 Early Zhou Dynasty (1045-700 BC) LU Shi Hollow handled Spade Money

Zhou dynasty of China (1045 to 700 BC)

Hollow handled spade money

Sloping Shoulder type

Lu Shi

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Reference: Hartill 2.166

Weight: 22 grams, Size: 85 x 50 mm; Bronze


Hollow handled spade money

Sloping Shoulder type

-Lu Shi




Sloping shoulder spades: Sloping shoulder spades usually have a sloping shoulder, with the two outside lines on the obverse and reverse at an angle. The central line is often missing. This type is generally smaller than the prototype or square shoulder spades. Their inscriptions are clearer, and usually consist of two characters. They are associated with the Kingdom of Zhou and the Henan area. Their smaller size indicates that they are later in date than the square shoulder spades


Hollow handled spade money


Hollow handled spades (Chinese: 布幣; pinyin: b?b?) are a link between weeding tools used for barter and stylised objects used as money. They are clearly too flimsy for use, but retain the hollow socket by which a genuine tool could be attached to a handle. This socket is rectangular in cross-section, and still retains the clay from the casting process. In the socket the hole by which the tool was fixed to its handle is also reproduced.

Prototype spade money: This type of Spade money is similar in shape and size to the original agricultural implements. While some are perhaps robust enough to be used in the fields, others are much lighter and bear an inscription, probably the name of the city which issued it. Some of these objects have been found in Shang and Western Zhou tombs, so they date from c. 1200-800 BC. Inscribed specimens appear to date from c. 700 BC.




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Hartill 2.166 Early Zhou Dynasty (1045-700 BC) LU Shi Hollow handled Spade Money