Language: Mandarin Chinese

Origin of term: Collector's jargon

Description

The yútóudāo (魚頭刀) or "fish head saber" is a subtype of Chinese sabers with fairly straight blade that sweeps up at the tip. The most characteristic of the type is that is has a peaked spine.

I have not been able to find the term in classic literature, but some yútóudāo seem to confirm the validity of the term by having eyes and gills engraved into their tips to make them appear more fish-like.

See a classic fish head saber with engraved gills and eyes on the website of Art Museum of Ancient Chinese Weapons.

 

Yutoudao

A rather similar example that I sold in 2006.

 

Most yútóudāo seem to be quite early and date from the late Ming to Ming-Qing transition period.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

With influences from several cultures that are rarely seen on a single blade.

Sold

With wootz handle with fine pierced pommel dome.

€3500,-

From approximately the 5th to 3rd century B.C.

€2800,-

A large Kachin style square-ended dha in Shan style mountings.

€1200,-

Presented by the local Dai nobility to a British customs officer in 1936.

€3200,-

With designs of four dragons in scrollwork around a "wish-granting-jewel"

€5000,-
ARTICLE
A saber glossary in Manchu
An overview of Manchu saber terminology.
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of a Manchu bow
Made in the famous Changxing workshop in Chengdu, which as the subj...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Jianruiying (1); introduction
The Jianruiying were a small elite unit of specially selected Manch...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Nanban tsuba & Asian export sword guards
For long, "nanban tsuba" literally "Southern barbarian sword-guards...
Read the article