Large Qing military sword
Overall length

107.5 cm

Blade length

86.6 cm

Blade thickness

Base 7.3 mm

Middle 3.5 mm

At widening 2.5 mm

Blade width

Base 36 mm

Middle 42 mm

At widening 54 mm

Weight

1358 grams

Point of balance

17 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, wood, indigo dyed cotton cord, brass

Origin

Probably Southern China

Dating

Late 19th century

Price €1900, -

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Description

A large Chinese dāo with a straight, single-edged blade that markedly flares at the tip which becomes double-edged at the widening. It has a single fuller right under the spine.

The blade is made of good steel, skillfully forge-folded with no flaws, showing a rather active burling grain pattern that lights up in the right angle. A high-carbon steel insert is exposed at the edges, giving that area the proper hardness, while the layered body provides toughness. The blade is very stiff for its thickness.

The hilt consists of simple blackened metal mounts and a wooden grip, wrapped with old indigo-dyed cord. The red lanyard is a recent addition by a previous owner. The grip is long enough for two-handed use.

 

Condition

Very healthy blade, with no nicks, cracks or other edge damage, retaining a nice springy temper. The blade was polished and etched by a previous owner, there are some small scratches in the polish. I could work them out and re-etch for an additional €200,-.

 

 

Dating/attribution

Over the years I've encountered a number of these, enough of the exact same configuration to think they were a standard military pattern. The blade design reminds much of the northern niúwěidāo that became popular from roughly the 1850s onwards. The tendency towards straight blades is more of a Southern trait, probably fueled by less of a need to go through the thick padding that was worn in winters in the north. (Winters happened to be the main campaigning seasons in the north because granaries were stocked up and rivers easy to cross.) The straight design of this sword reduces some of the cutting ability of the design, at the gain of much better thrusting ability.

My best guess would be this is a lesser-known, Southern Chinese military pattern sword from roughly the 1880s-1900s.

Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword
Large Qing military sword

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I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

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