Bronze Dagger with Golden Hilt

Bronze Dagger with Golden Hilt

National Treasure

National Treasure Intro

The Bronze Dagger with Golden Hilt is in the National Museum of History’s collection. It was excavated from the Tomb No.1 in Liulige, in Hui County, Henan Province, China. It is an artifact of King Wei in the Late Spring and Autumn period.

During the Western Zhou period, daggers were already popular. Later, during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, daggers could also be used to display the rank and status of the wearer. Bronze daggers were popular at that time, and they were exquisitely decorated with patterns of dragons on the handles.

The handle of this dagger is 10.7 cm long, and the blade is 22.6 cm. The blade is narrow and long, and the handle is covered with gold foil. It is exquisitely decorated with an animal face pattern. Very few objects like this have been excavated, so it is incredibly rare. This dagger might be used for self-defense by King Wei. It was designated as a national treasure in 2011 for its historical and cultural significance.

National Treasure Appreciation

The blade of the dagger is heavily rusted, but the fuller, which is in the middle, can still be clearly seen running straight through the blade.

This preserves the characteristics of the late Western Zhou period dagger craftsmanship, which typically had a fuller running through the grip of the blade.

The blade of the dagger is long and narrow, with a protruding fuller. The two edges of the blade are extremely narrow and sharp.

The pommel of the dagger is oval, with a hollow, circular hole in the center.
It is surrounded by carvings of a floating double-bodied coiled dragon without horns.

Display of the hilt

The sides of the pommel of the dagger are engraved with a circle of triangular pattern, and there are three cloud patterns next to every other triangle pattern.
The handle of the dagger is decorated with a spiral pattern.
The guard of the dagger is wide and thick, and it is decorated with a pair of hook-shaped lines and the two sides are decorated with animal face design.



National Museum of History (NMH) was founded in 1955. The first national museum in Taiwan since 1949. The Museum was originally named as the “National Museum of Artifacts and Art”, and then that was changed to current name in 1957.

Two sets of artifacts fromed the bases of the NMH collection, one is the Chinese artifacts plundered during the Sino-Japanese War, and another is the artifacts from the previous Henan Province Museum (today’s Henan Museum). Both sets were transferrd to the MNH by the Ministry of Education. Afterwards, the NHM’s collection accumulated year by year through purchases and enthusiastic donations from all walks of life. To date, there are more than 50,000 artifacts within 19 categories, such as painting, calligraphy, bronze, pottery, etc.

The museum’s collection is rich and diverse, representing various cultural phases,and all these precious materials can be viewed on the“National Museum of History’s Database.”

Recommended objects

By using the Taiwan glossary available on the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT-Taiwan),
objects can be better understood by linking them to similar objects in global collections.