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Compass rose guard logo

Cast iron compass rose guard

A peculiar cast iron sword guard, probably from the South China Seas area.
Unusual Chinese saber with figure head pommel logo

Unusual Chinese saber

Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.
Qianlong's Jinchuan dagger logo

The Qianlong emperor's dagger from Jinchuan

In this article, we will zoom into a shortsword or dagger that was obtained from the Jinchuan campaigns of 1747-1749 and 1771-1776.
Studded Kham dagger logo

Fine Tibetan gem studded dagger

A very rare type of dagger that originates from the borderlands of Eastern Tibet and Sichuan.
Longquan logo

Lóngquán (龍泉)

A town in Zhejiang province, China, known as a sword making center.
Yunnan Dai dagger

A fine Yunnan Dai dagger

With characteristic bulb pommel and silver plating on hilt and scabbard.
Bagua logo

Bāguà (八卦) "Eight Trigrams"

Chinese meaning "Eight Trigrams", representing the fundamental principles of our world.
S-shaped Chinese spearhead

Wavy Chinese spearhead

Of a rarer form, often used for ceremonial pole-arms.
Hudiedao with Tongsheng marking

Signed húdiédāo set

Of military style with long, narrow blades and ribbed hardwood grips.
Daoist shuangjian

Lóngquán Daoist shuāngjiàn

A very good set of Daoist straightswords in a single scabbard. There is a lot to see here, but I will start with the blades.
Chinese báitóng whip

Chinese báitóng whip

A Chinese traditional hidden striking weapon, this time executed in the "white copper" alloy.
A Chinese executioners sword logo

A Chinese headman's sword

Of rare form with short but very heavy double-edged blade.
Long spear manufacture logo

Construction of the Qing dynasty long spear

From an 1812 text regarding the manufacture of Qing military equipment.
19th century Qing fangshi peidao logo

Qing fangshi soldier's saber

A rare surviving example of the simple military version of this style.
Pierced iron saddle logo

Pierced iron saddle

Executed in the Tibetan style, exhibiting dragons in foliage chasing flaming jewels.
Antique Chinese spearhead logo

Antique Chinese spearhead 3

Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
Antique Chinese spearhead logo

Antique Chinese spearhead 2

Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
Antique Chinese spearhead

Antique Chinese spearhead

Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
Tongzhou incident dadao logo

Tongzhou incident 29th army dàdāo

With markings attributing it to the Tongzhou incident and a Japanese surrender tag.
Ju Yuan Hao bow by Yang Wentong

Bow by Yang Wentong

One of the last bows by Yang Wentong, father of Yang Fuxi.
Weight & balance logo

On weight and balance

In researching antique arms -or any kind of material culture for that matter- it is of paramount importance to actually feel and handle pieces.
Hudiedao logo

Very good hudiedao set

With fine carved hilts, substantial bronze D-guards, and subtle signs of heat treatment on the blades.
Western Chinese dao logo

An unusual minority dao

The wide blade with clipped tip mounted on a riveted wooden grip.
Ju Yuan Hao target arrow logo

Chinese target arrow

With snake skin nock. Probably made by Ju Yuan Hao in the 1950s.
Bow making quarters logo

Gōng jiàng yíng (弓匠營)

The bow and arrow maker's quarters in Beijing.
Yang Fuxi logo

Yáng Fúxǐ (杨福喜)

Manchu bow maker of the Jù Yuán Hào (聚元號) shop, Beijing. Active 1998-present.
Yang Wentong Logo

Yáng Wéntōng (杨文通)

A 20th-century Manchu bow maker of the Jù Yuán Hào (聚元號) shop, Beijing.
Yang Ruilin

Yáng Ruìlín (杨瑞林)

A Manchu bow maker. Owned Jù Yuán Hào (聚元號).
Ju Yuan Hao logo

Jù Yuán Hào (聚元號)

A famous bow making shop in Beijing, still active.
Yang Wentong bow logo

Bow by Ju Yuan Hao of Beijing

Made by the last operational bowyer of China, probably for the Mongolian market.
Wodao logo

Wōdāo (倭刀 / 窩刀)

Chinese term for a Japanese sword, or a large saber with strong Japanese influence.
Qing miaodao logo

Miáodāo (苗刀)

Chinese name for a slender, curved saber. Often associated with large two-handers.
Qing bowcase and quiver

Iron mounted Qing bowcase & quiver

With iron mounts with golden overlay of dragons.
Baojian logo

Bàojiàn (骲箭)

Chinese name for a class of arrows with a large, non-ferrous head. Many are whistles, some are blunts.
Liudaomu logo

Liùdàomù (六道木)

Chinese name for a strong and heavy wood used for staffs and arrow shafts.
Republican era whistling arrow with burl wood head

Republican period whistle arrow

Dating from the revival period of Chinese archery in the 1930s.
Jian logo

Gim (劍)

The Cantonese word for the Chinese straightsword.
Changdao logo

Chángdāo (長刀)

Chinese term for "long saber".
Chinese loukong export guard

Chinese lòukōng sword guard

The archetypical Chinese sword guard that gave rise to the Japanese genre of "nanban tsuba".
Jian guard logo

Hūshǒu (護手)

Chinese for the handguard of a weapon.
Chinese pierced sword guard logo

Qing openwork saber guard

A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Qing om a hum mantra saber guard

Chinese hùshǒu with lantsa script

A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.
Qing hozon papers logo

Chinese sword guards in Japan

The Chinese saber guard is called dāo hūshǒu (刀護手), or hùshǒu pán (護手盤) in Chinese. This literally translates to "saber handguard" or "disc handguard". At some point, the Japanese got quite a taste for them. Over the years a number of them have turned up from Japanese sources that exhibit alterations that indicate they were used by Japanese on their swords.
Malachite Manchu thumb ring logo

Malachite Manchu archer's ring

Such rings were worn by Qing dynasty "bannermen" as a sign of their status as a conquest elite.
Chinese ceremonial halberd icon

Tongzhi period ceremonial halberd

A bronze processional piece with reign marks attributing it to the year 1864.
Chinese - Vietnamese fighting knife

Heavy Sino-Vietnamese dagger

With a very thick and heavy blade and nicely worked brass mounts.
Late Qing jian logo

A fine late Qing jian

A step above the norm in quality for this period, with nicely pierced mounts.
Cantonese saber logo

Cantonese saber

With brass mounts and ray skin covered scabbard.
A southern dao logo

Southern Chinese saber

Of typical southern form with a very slender, pointy blade.
Yanyuedao logo

Southern Chinese yǎnyuèdāo

A large and impressive blade, its pole cut-down.