Linchpins were designed to go through aligned mortises in both the axle cap and the axle, keeping the wheel in place. These examples are cast in high relief with the figure of a kneeling man riding on a beast, probably a tiger. Human likenesses are extremely rare on ritual bronzes, although they occur more frequently on military bronzes such as chariot pieces and weapons.
Pair of chariot wheel linchpins Early Western Zhou dynasty (about 1050-771 BC) © Compton Verney
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