Language: Mandarin Chinese
Source: 1621 Wǔbèizhì (武備志), or "Treatise of Military Preparedness" by Mao Yuanyi.


Suàntóu gūduǒ (蒜頭骨朵) literally means "garlic head mace". It appears as such in the 1621 Wǔbèizhì.1 This type of mace appears as early as the Song dynasty, where it is listed in the Wǔjīng Zǒngyào (武經總要) of circa 1040-1044 as Suàntóu (蒜頭), or "garlic head".2


Garlic maces

Garlic maces in Chinese sources.
Left: Wǔbèizhì of 1621.
Right: Wǔjīng Zǒngyào of 1040-1044.



Garlic bulb mace

A Chinese garlic bulb mace, Ming or Qing dynasty.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2021.


The style seems to have remained in continuous use until the Qing dynasty. Extant examples are hard to date because their styles seem to have changed very little over time.


1. Mao Yuanyi; Wǔbèizhì (武備志), or "Treatise of Military Preparedness". Compiled 1621.
2. Ding Du & Yang Weide; Wǔjīng Zǒngyào (武經總要) or Complete Essentials for the Military Classics. Circa 1040-1044.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

With markings attributing it to the Tongzhou incident and a Japanese surrender tag.


A fine and unusually large tsuba. Attributed to Hizen by the NBTHK.


A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.


Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.


Silk horse mask from the Xianbei ruled dynasty which ruled northern China from 386 to 534 A.D.

Price on request

A standard pattern Qing military saber, but with the rare addition of a label in Manchu.