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Language: Vietnamese
Source: Old dictionary


Thanh gươm () appears in an 1887 French-Tonkinese dictionary where it is translated as "grand sabre de cortège" or "large processional saber".


The 1887 dictionary entry of thanh gươm.

The character used, , means a double edged straightsword in Chinese. In Vietnamese, it can be pronounced both as kiếm, denoting the straightsword, or gươm for saber. The character  is also used for saber and pronounced gươm.

Vietnamese ceremonial sabers

During the Nguyễn dynasty (1802 - 1945) such sabers were carried by men of rank and their retainers as a symbol of their rank and office.

These weapons typically have silver mounts, only the emperor could have gilt mounts on his sword. They are often nicely made with grips made of ivory, or other precious materials and scabbards decorated with fine moth-of-pearl inlays. The blades are often purely ceremonial, but pieces with functional blades are encountered from time to time.

Ceremonial guom

A fine Vietnamese ceremonial saber, or thanh gươm.

1. Gaston Khan, Élève diplômé de l'École des langues orientales; Vocabulaire Franco - Tonkinois. Hanoi, 1887. Page 25.

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A very rare ceremonial variety with copper scabbard inlaid with different alloys, and a brass blade.


With vintage silver mounted scabbard.


This unassuming dagger has one of the finest wootz blades with a tight ladder pattern.


An archaic form of dagger that survived in Afghanistan.


Made around 1900 in Alwar, Rajasthan, for the tourist market.


With very fine twistcore barrel.