Derge (སྡེ་དགེ) means "Land of Mercy". It is a town in Dêgê County in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China. It was once the center of the Kingdom of Derge in Kham, which lasted from the 15th to the 20th century. It was a center of arts, known for its printing and metalworking. 


Derge metalwork

The town is primarily known for its delicate openwork in iron, often damascened with gold or silver. They produced door fittings, saddle plates and other horse trappings, cases for prized tea bowls, and of course swords and sword mounts.


Sword made in Derge

A sword from Derge
Illustrated in Land of the Lamas, 1891. Page 257.

Sword from Derge


A short knife is carried suspended from the belt of all Tibetans; with it they cut their meat. 
The scabbard in some cases is highly ornamented; especially is this the case with knives of Derge make (pl. 10).

-William Woodville Rockhill; Notes on the Ethnology of Tibet
Washington, 1895. Page 696.


Plate 10 knife and belt from Derge



Tea bowl cases, Derge

Cases for prized Jade or porcelain tea bowls. 
Derge, 16th-17th century.
Victoria & Albert Museum accession number IM.160-1927.



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With a rare, finely forged double hairpin blade.


This kind of fine work is typical for Tibetan work of the 15th-16th centuries.


Russet iron, one-piece construction with decorative grooves.


Ryutaro was the son of Fukutake Ichirō (1928-2002).


With a very fine Nepalese blade, but kard-like hilt and scabbard.


Early type with very shallow notch in the blade and little flare in the pommel.