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.

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A rather well-made example of its type.


A bronze processional piece with reign marks attributing it to the year 1864.


Such rings were worn by Qing dynasty "bannermen" as a sign of their status as a conquest elite.


A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.


A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.


Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.