The Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear or Hùjūn Xiāoqí Chángqiāng (護軍驍騎長槍) was a very large spear or lance. The Chinese language does not differentiate between spears and lances but the fact that they were issued to the Valiant Cavalry contingent of the Guard Division suggests they were primarily used as lances. The Guard Division was part of the elite Eight Banners army, responsible for guarding the rear of the army on campaign.

When looking at the operational regulations for the Eight Banners forces, all divisions are issued long spears, not only the Guard Division. The regular Valiant Cavalry of the Manchu and Mongol banners are also issued long spears, for example.1 Yet, the Huangchao Liqi Tushi of 1766 describes only the Jianruiying Long Spear, the Green Standard Army Long Spear and the Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear. It makes one wonders whether there were fundamental differences with the other long spears of the Eight Banners army.

The Huangchao Liqi Tushi:

Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear

"According to the regulations of the dynasty; Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear: Spearhead made of forged steel. Overall 1 zhang 3 chi 7 cun long. Spearhead is 1 chi 1 cun long. At the base of the socket is a round iron disc, 2 fen thick. Below it a tassel of bright red yak hair. The wooden shaft is 1 zhang 2 chi and 2 cun long. Steel fitting at end is 4 cun long.

Guard Division Valiant Cavalry; every two persons are provided with one spear."

Converted in cm3
Overall: 479.5 cm
Head: 38 cm
Shaft: 427 cm
End fitting: 14 cm

Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long SpearA schematic drawing of the Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear that I made based on the above description.



Visualization of spears of the Qing dynasty

Spears of the Qing dynasty compared.
#3 is the Guard Division Valiant Cavalry Long Spear.
The figure is 175 cm tall.
Click to enlarge

1. Qīndìng Jūnqì Zélì (欽定軍器則例) "Regulations and precedents on military equipment", 56th year of Qianlong, corresponding to 1792.

2. Huangchao Liqi Tushi (皇朝禮器圖式) of or "Illustrated Regulations on the Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Dynasty". An illustrated work commissioned by the Qianlong emperor in 1750, the first manuscript was finished in 1759 and the first woodblock-printed edition was completed in 1766.
3. Based on a 1 chi equals 35 cm conversion.

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With a golden damascened lock of the Indo-Portuguese type.


With floral overlay, kinatah, typical for the period.


Very good example with a finely carved warrior scene.


Probably of Southern origin, with a straight blade and flaring tip.


In the style of northern work of the 16th and 17th centuries


A what? Yes exactly. An extremely rare piece, the only example I am aware of in published collections at…