Chinese fighting knife
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 35.5 cm

Knife 35.3 cm

Blade length

23.6 cm

Blade thickness

Base 7.5 mm

Blade width

37 mm


265 grams

Point of balance

52 mm from guard


Iron, steel, leather, cotton


Southern China


Second half 19th century


From a Scandinavian collection


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Fighting knives of this type were often brought back from southern coastal China and Northern Vietnam in the 19th century. Some have typical signs of Chinese manufacture,  while others have some elements that are more Vietnamese. A few are sitting in the middle. With Chinese craftsmen working in every port city, the distinction between one or the other can get quite blurry. Also, quite a few with Vietnamese provenance were probably taken from the Black Flags, a bandit group that moved into Vietnam in 1865 and helped firth the French.

This particular example has a simple, no-frills execution that favors a Chinese origin. (Vietnamese examples have a tendency towards decorated brass mounts.) The pigskin scabbard with a stylized coin cutout is seen in both Vietnam and China but was more common in China.

It has a heavy blade with ridged back. The current blade finish, however, with the final sharpening done with a sort of scraper, is typically seen on Vietnamese arms. So that's where it ended up at some point. This may point toward use by the Black Flags.

The hilt is wrapped with cord. All are in pretty good, original, untouched condition.





Southern Chinese ring pommel knife
Southern Chinese ring pommel knife
Southern Chinese ring pommel knife
Southern Chinese ring pommel knife
Southern Chinese ring pommel knife
Southern Chinese ring pommel knife

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Currently available:

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