Dated Pingpu knife
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 47 cm

Knife 40.4 cm

Blade length

25.3 cm

Blade thickness

Base 9.3 cm

Middle 6 mm

5 cm from tip 4 mm

Blade width

Base 43 cm

Middle 50 mm

5 cm from tip 30 mm

Weight

574 grams

Point of balance

9 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, wood, lacquer, plant fiber, rattan

Origin

Lowlands of Taiwan

Dating

Scabbard dated 1921

Provenance

UK antiques market

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Description

An interesting Taiwanese knife from the Píngpu (平埔) plains indigenous peoples of mostly the Western coast of Taiwan. 

It has a heavy blade with convex edge, very thick spine and forged out of one piece with its socket hilt. In original, untouched condition. One forging flaw shows us it is forged in layers.

The wooden half-scabbard covers the left side of the blade. It is held inside by 21 iron strips, divided into three segments of 9, 6, and 6 strips, respectively. At the back is a braided rattan carring strap attached to the plant fiber cord. 

The scabbard is painted with floral motives and inscribed with calligraphy on both sides.

 

Dated Pingpu knife inscriptions

 

The front open side:

刃開大吉
Rèn kāi dàjí

"Blade open; good luck"

 

This corresponds with the back side, cartouche 2:

花開春来
Huā kāi chūn lái

"Flowers open; spring comes"

 

The back side, cartouche 1:

大正九年
Dàzhèng jiǔ nián

"9th year of Taishō"
[1921]


茘月日
 lì yuè rì

"A day in the month of "
[August]

 

The back side, cartouche 3:

積善之家有餘廔
Jīshàn zhī jiā yǒuyú qìng

"A house that accumulates good deeds [must] have more than its share of happiness"

 

兒孫積德
Ér sūn jī dé

"Children and grandchildren accumulate virtue"

 

到千秋
dào qiānqiū

"For a thousand autumns"

The back side, cartouche 4

天理良心
Tiānlǐ liángxīn

"Heavenly conscience"

 

This last sentence is from the famous 18th century novel Hongloumen or "Dream of the Red Chamber". It means something like "trust in the heavenly providence and human kindness".

 

Conclusion

A very interesting Pingpu presentation knife from the Japanese colonial period. Dated to 1921, and covered in well-wishes for its owner.

Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife
Dated Pingpu knife

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