Language: Mandarin Chinese
Source: Classical literature


Sǔn () literally means "tenon", it's also the word used for a sword tang.1

The Chinese sword tang is typically peened over at the pommel, so the owner may never see it. For this reason, Chinese tangs are rarely marked and usually left with a relatively coarse finish.

Saber tangTang on a Ming dynasy saber blade.

Manchu tangRare example of a marked tang on a 17th century Manchu saber.
The marking probably had to do with the production process.

Also see

Alternatively, dīngdāo gēntiě (釘刀根鐵) is used for tang.2

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

1. 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.
2. Wuti Qingwen Jian (五體清文鑑) or "Five languages compendium"
A Qing imperial dictionary in Manchu, Mongolian, Uighur, Tibetan and Chinese of 1766. Published under the Qianlong emperor.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

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


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 simple utilitarian weapon, probably made for rural martial artists or militia.


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