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Old 13th January 2021, 07:28 PM   #1
David R
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Default Bronze age spear head.

My latest purchase, feeling withdrawal symptoms from near on a year with no fairs or markets I once again bought online.....
Frankly I was not too sure about this one because there are so damn many "bronzes" coming out of China, and it was very cheap for what it is supposed to be, probably because other people had the same idea.
I think it's a real 'un, the Chinese replicate Chinese forms and examples and this isn't one of those. Chinese fakes tend to have a rounded "sucked sweet (candy)" look to them, and on this the surviving edges and angles are sharp, way too sharp for just a casting, and I have seen this form before in museums. So here it is!
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Old 13th January 2021, 07:30 PM   #2
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And the vendors photo's.
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Old 14th January 2021, 07:25 AM   #3
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Looks like a javelin point to me. There seem to be a lot of bronze weapons from the Balkans - 'Luristan' seems to be covered knee deep in them. I recall seeing bronze points for sale with the vendor later listing more just like it with 'age' notching and damage in the same place as the earlier one (or more) they sold.

I once wrote one of these 'vendors' to suggest I'd pay more for a nice shiny one without the ageing and damage. They were not amused. Chinese ones are pretty much guaranteed to be fake, as it is illegal to export real ones, but not replicas.

Some legit dealers in antiquities have the technology in small hand held non-destructive x-ray fluorescence devices that can tell you in seconds the component metals of the alloy used in a bronze (or other metals) and compare the blend with real authenticated ones. Might try a local museum to see if they have one. They are not a casual purchase, but not as expensive as one might think.

p.s.- considering the sharp lines of the rest of the blade, I wonder what might have caused the rounded 'bites' taken out of the edges.

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Old 14th January 2021, 01:43 PM   #4
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I nearly titled the post javelin head, but thought it a bit too limiting. Regarding status, it was sold as an original by a UK dealer on ebay, so I have some comeback... if I can be bothered. It cost what I would expect to pay for a museum copy in a museum shop, so if it is real, I got a hell of a bargain. Perhaps the dealer was not too sure himself.

Regarding the Chinese replicas, I do actually buy them from time to time if cheap enough, and sell them on as replicas at a profit, so I am familiar with them.... Funny story, I bought a bunch of "arrowheads" from China and they were huge. Finally worked out that they were working from pictures and written details,and got confused between Centimetres and Inches.
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Old 14th January 2021, 02:09 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Luristan?

I think Luristan is a good suggestion as to the origin, though I am not very knowledgeable about the fine details of origin, but it does not scream fake to me.

Places that buy old gold and silver and junkyards will often have portable XRF units that can give a quick readout of all but the lightest surface elements; while this technology can often quickly condemn a fake, the correct composition will not guarantee antiquity.
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Old 14th January 2021, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
...
Regarding the Chinese replicas, I do actually buy them from time to time if cheap enough, and sell them on as replicas at a profit, so I am familiar with them.... Funny story, I bought a bunch of "arrowheads" from China and they were huge. Finally worked out that they were working from pictures and written details,and got confused between Centimetres and Inches.
Reminds me of a chemical plant construction project for Monsanto in Decatur, Alabama I was a project engineer on, My employer was responsible for the main plant inside the battery limits (IBL), another Co. did all the storage tanks & associated piping and pumping facilities outside the battery limits (OBL). At the point we met, turned out we were a few feet offline. The OBL people used metric, and we used USA 'English' coordinates. After scratching our heads, we connected with a nice zig-zag and called it a 'thermal expansion joint'. Everybody, including the client happy.
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Old 14th January 2021, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Reminds me of a chemical plant construction project for Monsanto in Decatur, Alabama I was a project engineer on, My employer was responsible for the main plant inside the battery limits (IBL), another Co. did all the storage tanks & associated piping and pumping facilities outside the battery limits (OBL). At the point we met, turned out we were a few feet offline. The OBL people used metric, and we used USA 'English' coordinates. After scratching our heads, we connected with a nice zig-zag and called it a 'thermal expansion joint'. Everybody, including the client happy.
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Old 14th January 2021, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Reminds me of a chemical plant construction project for Monsanto in Decatur, Alabama I was a project engineer on, My employer was responsible for the main plant inside the battery limits (IBL), another Co. did all the storage tanks & associated piping and pumping facilities outside the battery limits (OBL). At the point we met, turned out we were a few feet offline. The OBL people used metric, and we used USA 'English' coordinates. After scratching our heads, we connected with a nice zig-zag and called it a 'thermal expansion joint'. Everybody, including the client happy.

Yup, this happens!
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