A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Knife 31.7 cm
Blade 21.3 cm
Iron, steel, horn, white metal
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This knife is a rather unassuming piece at first glance, until you stop and carefully examine how it was made.
It has the typical blade of a knife from Chinese trousse sets to which it undoubtedly once belonged. There is a single long fuller on the right, and a shorter one on the left. At the base of the blade there is a maker's mark in the form of a 11 pointed star shape with a cross inside. The inside of the fullers are etched with a zig-zag pattern.
The hilt consists of two buffalo horn plates, and four blonde horn pieces. The iron tang runs the full width of the grip and is twisted, the horn beautifully follows the twist. The horn is not just carved to shape, as the horn's grain also follows the twist. The blonde horn pieces, in addition, have separate metal linings.
The the pommel, the flat tang is simply hammered to the side. The horn slabs are held with iron rivets, one for each blonde piece and three for each black piece.
Northern China, 19th century.
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With markings attributing it to the Tongzhou incident and a Japanese surrender tag.
Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.
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.