There is an inscription of six neat gold-inlaid characters in bird seal script at the part of “Hu” (similar to the joint of the thumb and the forefinger of a hand) of the bronze dagger-axe, which means the “dagger-axe of Song Gong Luan”. “Song Gong Luan” is the 27th duke of the State of Song, Duke Jing of Song, who came to the throne in the 4th year of the reign of King Jing of Zhou (516 B.C.) and died in the 18th year of the reign of King Zhending of Zhou (451 B.C.).
As a weapon designed for hooking and killing, the dagger-axe was widely used in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, which was generally cast in bronze, with a wooden handle.
The State of Song, with its duke surnamed Zi, was granted by King Wu of Zhou to Wei Zi Qi (the elder brother of King Zhou of Shang who surrendered to the Zhou Dynasty then) at the time of subinfeudation of the feudal princes. It was located in Shangqiu (now south of Shangqiu County, Henan) with the state title of Song to worship the ancestors of the Shang Dynasty. The jurisdiction covers the eastern part of Henan Province and some areas of Shandong, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. The State of Song had always been a small state which was developed in the Spring and Autumn Period. When Duke Huan of Qi dominated hegemony, the State of Song had always been an ally of the State of Qi. Hence Duke Huan of Qi entrusted his son Lv Zhao to Duke Xiang of Song when he died. Duke Xiang of Song was the 20th duke of the State of Song. He lived up to the trust of Duke Huan of Qi, quelled the civil unrest in the State of Qi in alliance with the army of the feudal princes, and helped Lv Zhao become a duke, namely Duke Xiao of Qi. Duke Xiang of Song believed that he had the power to dominate the princes since then, but eventually failed due to weak power of the state. Sicheng Zihan killed Duke Huan of Song and seized the regime in the middle of the 4th century B.C. The State of Song was annihilated by the State of Qi in 286 B.C.