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Sword of King Zhou Gou of Yue, Early Warring States period

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Accession Number
Sword of King Zhou Gou of Yue
Early Warring States period
L. 49.5 cm;W. 4.9 cm
Significant antiquities


This sword has a round grip and a long blade with a single ridge. The blade is double-edged, and the grip has two raised bands. This was a classic design of swords from the Wu and Yue regions during the early Warring States Period. This sword is well-forged, and carries an inscription of 14 characters. On both sides of the sword guard, where the blade attaches to the hilt, the inscriptions, "Wang Zhou Gou (King Zhou Gou)" and "Zhi Zuo Yong Jian (Sword Made for Personal Use)" can be seen, indicating that this sword was held and used by King Zhou Gou of Yue. Zhou Gou, the King of Yue, was the great-grandson of King Gou Jian of Yue, and there are almost twenty such examples of swords made for his personal use. The inscriptions all made use of the highly decorative bird-insect script, and not only does this reflect the regional characteristics of Wu and Yue script during the Eastern Zhou period, but also demonstrates the national strength of Yue and prowess in crafting weapons during the reign of Zhou Gou.