Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
This item has been sold.
Overall length

76.5 cm

Blade length

58.2 cm

Blade thickness

Base 8.5 mm

Middle 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3 mm

Blade width

Base 33.5 mm

Middle 33.5 mm

5 cm from tip 27 mm

Weight

740 grams

Point of balance

14 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, wood, horn

Origin

Tonkin, Northern Vietnam

Dating

Before 1887

Provenance

Victor Auguste Robin (1847-1907)
Senior officer of the Tonkin expeditionary force 1885-1887.

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Description

A Vietnamese fighting saber incorporating a blade after the Chinese style, with a moderate curve over its entire length. It features two grooves on the right and three grooves on the left. Additional floral engraving is added on both sides, executed with a small chisel and depicting stylized floral work in typical Vietnamese fashion. It is forge folded, the layering just visible in its current finish.

It has a forged iron circular guard with a Japanese-inspired washer, called seppa in Japanese. These small Japanese design influences remind of the 16th and 17th centuries when many Japanese settled in the area. Their culture eventually got assimilated into local culture, but small hints of their presence such as this one remain.

The hilt is simply fashioned out of a piece of wood with a horn cap as a pommel and braided rattan as a ferrule. The center portion of the grip is ribbed for a comfortable and secure hold. It thickens near the pommel, a typical feature of the area. I get the impression this is a later, makeshift handle put on an older blade.

 

Condition

Original condition, no recent repairs. Some edge damage from use. See photos.

 

Provenance

It comes from the collection of Victor Auguste Robin (1847-1907), senior officer of the Tonkin expeditionary force from April 12, 1885, to August 23, 1887. He was awarded with the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, the highest French order of merit and also the Order of the Dragon of Annam and the Royal Order of Cambodia.

Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887
Tonkinese saber collected 1885-1887

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me
Currently available:

A heavy Sin-Vietnamese fighting knife, with recently polished blade.

€675,-

Broad bladed example with horn hilt and engraved blade.

€900,-

Large, heavy single-edged example with iron mounts.

€325,-

Constructed out of dense hardwood and with fine mother-of-pearl inlays in the Vietnamese fashion.

€2000,-

Description A rather unusual Vi

€1100,-

Collected by a Russian prince from the hill peoples of central Vietnam in 1892.

€1500,-