A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Overall 36.7 cm
Blade 26 cm
5 mm at base
P.o.b. 43 mm from guard
Overall 36.8 cm
Blade 26.3 cm
5 mm at base
P.o.b. 40 mm from guard
Southern China, Qing dynasty
Iron, steel, brass, bronze, leather, plant fiber thread
Second half 19th century
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A set of southern Chinese double knives. The blades, of elongated triangular shape with slanted tip remind of the blades on húdiédāo (蝴蝶刀) while the D-shaped knuckle guard so common for those is missing on this set.
Instead, the guards consist of a thick bronze plate, facetted on the outside and flat on the inside. The hilts consist of hardwood grips, carved with Buddhist flower baskets in a cartouche bordered by "rolling thunder" patterns. Each grip with brass ferrules on either side of the wood. The tangs are peened on the opposite side of a bronze pommel plate.
The set comes with a pigskin scabbard in the typical southern fashion, folded on the edge side and sewn to a separate piece in the back. The top section of the scabbard is reinforced with another piece of leather with auspicious coin cutouts.
In very good condition overall, some spots of mild pitting on the blades and some damage to the leather scabbard. Hilts are tight.
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Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
A standard pattern Qing military saber, but with the rare addition of a label in Manchu.
Broad bladed example with horn hilt and engraved blade.
A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.
A simple utilitarian weapon, probably made for rural martial artists or militia.