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Thread: ?ANTIQUE? Qing Dynasty Jian, What do you folks think?

  1. #1

    ?ANTIQUE? Qing Dynasty Jian, What do you folks think?

    Recently acquired this, curious to know if it's genuine and how old it may be.

    The fittings are brass, bronze maybe. the handle is most certainly bone. The brass guard and pommel have maintained a lot of their luster despite having a hole corroded in it. The hilt is fastened by a tang rivet at the end of the pommel.

    The blade is heavily etched with the design of a dragon and some script. I don't read antiquated chinese so I don't know what it means yet. I suspect it may not be the original blade. I am not knowledgeable on blade etching/engraving so I'm not sure what to make of this.

    I suspect the scabbard may not be original to this particular sword.

    The sword is extremely solid, no rattling whatsoever and the balance feels amazing, much better compared to my modern day reproductions of this type of sword.

    If you have expertise here, I'd love to read what you have to say about it
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  2. #2

    more pics

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    I'd say modern and decorative ("modern" could be as old as early 20th century). I don't think that's a corrosion hole in the guard, but a casting flaw. The grinding marks on the end of the guard shows rather poor workmanship.

    Is the blade flat? (Seems to be in the photos.) How long? How thick is the blade? Is the thickness even along the length? How heavy is the sword?

    What modern repros are you comparing it to?
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  4. #4
    The blade has a slight belly that tapers towards the end, though definitely closer to a flat cross-section than a diamond, though I wouldn't call it a flat blade. However I don't think it is functional. Period or no, I think it's decorative, mayber a fancy trainer.

    Compared to some of the longquan training swords I have It has superb handling, comparable to some of the hanwei trainers I've used.

    My opinion from looking at it and from what I already know is that it is an early 20th century, maybe late Qing decorative sword made for the tourist market, perhaps even a fancier trainer. Though, I'm no expert, hence the thread.

    Either way I got for almost nothing, so I wouldn't be at a loss, and it is my absolute favorite style of sword

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan C. View Post
    The blade has a slight belly that tapers towards the end, though definitely closer to a flat cross-section than a diamond, though I wouldn't call it a flat blade. However I don't think it is functional. Period or no, I think it's decorative, mayber a fancy trainer.

    Compared to some of the longquan training swords I have It has superb handling, comparable to some of the hanwei trainers I've used.

    My opinion from looking at it and from what I already know is that it is an early 20th century, maybe late Qing decorative sword made for the tourist market, perhaps even a fancier trainer. Though, I'm no expert, hence the thread.

    Either way I got for almost nothing, so I wouldn't be at a loss, and it is my absolute favorite style of sword
    These are modern copies made in Java for the domestic tourist trade. They are solidly made, but with soft steel. Locals recommend putting them on an alter and not practicing with them, but I found the one I bought for a friend to be not very different from an antique and quite fun to practice with. The biggest difference is somewhat of a "dead" feeling to the blade.

    I see them as part of a living ethnographic tradition representing the interplay between Chinese and Indonesian culture. They are hand made by village artisans, and as such, they are worth collecting in a way that most modern Chinese reproductions are not. The handle is water buffalo bone, and it should come with a leather covered wood sheath. In 1993, in Java, after much bargaining, one cost me $20 at a local roadside open air shop. Usually locally purchased Indonesian tourist items would cost about ten times more in an American retail store. Add in two decades of inflation, and it is likely you got a good deal.
    Josh

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