Language: Mandarin Chinese
Source: Classical literature

Description

Dāo bèi (刀背) literally means the back or spine of a blade.1

When a measurement is given for the dāo bèi (刀背), thickness at the base is meant.2

Chinese saber spines can be flat, ridged, notched, beveled, sharp, or a combination of these.

Bannerman saberBannerman saberThe substantial bèi on a southern Chinese bannerman saber.

Niuweidao spineNotched bèi  on a northern niúwěidāo.

Back bevelAn unsharpened back bevel on a southern Chinese officer's saber.
This feature lightens the tip and improves handling.

Sharp backedgeA sharp backedge on a 17th century northern officer's saber.

Also see:

In Manchu, the word is gencehen.

For a complete overview of saber terminology, see: A Chinese saber glossary.

References
1. Tongwen Guanghui Quanshu (同文廣彙全書) or "Enlarged and complete dictionary" of 1702. A Qing imperial dictionary in Chinese and Manchu, each entry double-checked and approved by the Kangxi emperor.
2. Qinding Gongbu Junqi Zeli (欽定工部軍器則例) or "Imperial regulations and precedents on weapons and military equipment by the Ministry of Public Works", 1813. Chapter 36.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

A rather well-made example of its type.

€1500,-

With good, layered blade, mounted in forged iron mounts.

€2000,-

Based on the Dutch Beaumont mechanism, but with Indonesian twist forged barrel and golden inlays.

€5000,-

Called sung hoả mai in Vietnamese, they are based on the Indo-Portuguese system. This example has a baitong lock.

€2200,-

A large gun with English flintlock mechanism, as favored by the Mirs of the Talpur court. In very good condition, with almost all the gold remaining.

€7500,-

One of Europe's rarest gun types. A fine example, with mother of pearl inlaid stock.

€7200,-
ARTICLE
Measurements of a Manchu bow
Made in the famous Changxing workshop in Chengdu, which as the subj...
Read the article
ARTICLE
A typology of Chinese sabers
Introduction Historical references on Chinese saber types are scar...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Markings on Chinese swords
Most markings are found on military edged weapons, usually in the f...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Antique Vietnamese swords
A reference list of antique Vietnamese swords and sabers I've ...
Read the article