Southern Chinese hudiedao
Overall length

Sheathed 57.8 cm

Right 55.2 cm

Left 55.3 cm

Blade length

Right 44 cm

Left 44.2 cm

Blade thickness

Right

Base 7.3 mm

Middle 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3.5 mm

Left

Base 6 mm

Middle 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3.5 mm

Blade width

Right

Base 55 mm

Middle 49.5 mm

5 cm from tip 40 mm

Left

Base 55 mm

Middle 50 mm

5 cm from tip 40 mm

Weight

Right 895 grams

Left 894 grams

Point of balande

Right 9.8 cm from hilt

Left 10 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, bronze, wood, textile cord

Scabbard: leather and cotton thread

Origin

Southern China

Dating

Circa 1850-1900

Provenance

Scandinavian private collection

Price €1600, -

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Introduction

Húdiédāo (蝴蝶刀), are a type of double swords that seem to have originated in or around the port cities of southern China. The local Cantonese name is wu dip dou. They are also known in Cantonese as bat jam do (八斬刀) or "eight cutting knives", pronounced bāzhǎndāo in Mandarin.

Their defining feature is a large D-shaped guard with an upturned quillon at the back, usually of a copper alloy but sometimes made of iron. They typically have half-hilts that fit in a single scabbard side-by-side and can be drawn as if they were one weapon.

For more, see my glossary article: Húdiédāo (蝴蝶刀)

 

This set

The blades are wide and heavy, and with less taper in width than normally seen on antiques.

The hilts have heavy D shaped knuckleguards and prong at the back. Unusual is the straight profile and rectangular cross section of the grips, normally a bulging grip is seen, similar to that of the Chinese straightsword, jiàn. The grips are wrapped with cord.

The knuckle bows are nicely detailed with ridges and facets, and the thick tangs are nicely peened over in a faceted way as well. 

Both blades were over cleaned by a previous owner. I would recommend a new owner to have them professionally polished and etched. This creates a better finish and might reveal details of its forged construction.

It comes complete with a brown pigskin scabbard.

 

Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard
Southern Chinese hudiedao set with scabbard

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

A set of the rarer long and wide variety with very well-carved hilts and good overall finish.

€2800,-

With Tongzhi reign marks, corresponding to the year 1863.

€3000,-

Southern Chinese officer style saber with later inscription H.Hunt 1876.

€2000,-

Of pierced iron, elaborately cut with lotus petal border.

€1200,-

A Chinese shortsword made by a well-known Longquan maker.

€4200,-

Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.

€750,-