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Thread: Sword ID/info req'd, please

  1. #1

    Sword ID/info req'd, please

    Hi,

    With reference to the attached pictures can anyone ID or give me any information on the sword shown?
    The overall length of this sword is 48" with a blade length of 36" and it's 4" deep at it's widest point. It weighs 8lbs and 6 ounces with the hilt being made out of horn (I think?).
    I'd hazard a guess that it originates from the far east but, well time will tell I'm sure.
    Many thanks in advance!

    Regs
    B
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    618
    Looks like a relatively modern fantasy sword made for display. It isn't a traditional design, and for that weight, isn't a fighting sword.

    I'd guess Western-made (Europe, US?), custom decorative sword. Might be Indian or other Asian, but they usually make more "normal" swords rather than this. With the exception of some very bizarre stuff from China, but this doesn't look anything like the unusual Chinese ones.

    Is that a hole in the blade near the hilt? If so, it could be for a carrying strap ring. Put a ring through that hole, and the hole(?) next to the big notch near the tip, and attach a strap and sling it on your back (Chinese dadao style).

    The decoration looks SE Asian in style.
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  3. #3
    Well that's a hell of a thing.
    48"? So 4' long!
    Although I haven't seen anything quite like it before, the general scale and look of it make me think that it's some kind of ram-dao or a regional non polearm version of a Gaun dao.
    At that length and weight it's far too large to wield as a weapon.
    Is that inlaid brass circle any more than just that? I wondered if it might be an eye? In fact are there any designs on the blade?
    Can you show a picture of the top of the hilt disk-pommel?
    As to origin, my first thought was South East Asia. In fact I wondered if it could be from Vietnam or Thailand, but I can't find a close match.
    However it's a subject where viewer caution is advised in any research as you will rapidly find horrific images of animal slaughter that are not suitable for my eyes, this gentile forum or those of a squeamish disposition.
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 03-20-2017 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    618
    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    Although I haven't seen anything quite like it before, the general scale and look of it make me think that it's some kind of ram-dao or a regional non polearm version of a Gaun dao.
    If it is, it looks modern. The blade looks like it's made from sheet steel. The base-to-tip and spine-to-edge geometry look very different from what is seen on genuine polearms like the guandao, and similar blades mounted as swords.

    There are plenty of modern polearms/swords of those types, but they're often made for martial arts displays or theatrical performance, and tend to be rather lighter than this example.
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  5. #5
    Hi,

    Thank you both for your opinions on this one. I think considering it's weight it could only be swung once or twice, suggesting to me it might have a ceremonial function. At either end of the slot that runs along the blade are the faint engravings of scorpions. That brings to mind the question of the function of that slot, it can't be just for decoration or can it? I believe that it has some age to it, judging by the blade patina. I will post a picture of the hilt pommel very soon.

    Regs
    B

  6. #6
    Hi,

    Here's the promised picture the swords pommel. I hope it helps!

    Regs
    B
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen View Post
    If it is, it looks modern. The blade looks like it's made from sheet steel. The base-to-tip and spine-to-edge geometry look very different from what is seen on genuine polearms like the guandao, and similar blades mounted as swords.

    There are plenty of modern polearms/swords of those types, but they're often made for martial arts displays or theatrical performance, and tend to be rather lighter than this example.
    Timo

    I certainly can't disagree with anything you've said.
    It's a strange beast for sure.
    More comprehensive photos would certainly help, but I have my doubts as well.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie T View Post
    Hi,

    Here's the promised picture the swords pommel. I hope it helps!

    Regs
    B

    Bernie

    What can you tell us about the sword?
    Is there variation in the thickness of the blade?
    Does it appear to have been forged or is it just cut from a sheet?

    Can you take some more pictures of the decoration on the blade. The scorpions for example.
    The decoration might be a good indicator of origin.

  9. #9
    Hi,

    I've attached a picture of the blade scorpion and a close-up of the edge of the ricasso, there might be a clue to how the blade was made in that picture? Incidently there does appear to be some variation in thickness in some areas of the blade.

    Regs
    B
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  10. #10
    Hello,
    I am quite convinced it is a display/fantasy sword, possibly made by a backyard would be swordsmith. One giveaway would be the edge simply formed by scandi grind and the unmistakable traces of machining.
    As for its age... it can be around 50.
    Sorry!
    Last edited by Marius M; 03-28-2017 at 02:48 AM.

  11. #11
    As Marius says, the grind marks on the spine are a bad sign.
    The more worrying area in your latest photographs for me, is that the signs of older corrosion and pitting seem to disappear towards the edge.
    This would suggest to me that the blade was cut from a large plate or sheet that already had some pitting.
    As Timo suggested.

  12. #12
    Hi,

    Thanks to you both for those last two replies, I found them both interesting and useful for future reference! Though the sword is not as old as I hoped it might be, it is still (IMHO) a well made and substantial display piece.
    Incidentally, I have been told recently that the sword came from a collection of a merchant seaman that sailed extensively in Far East waters.
    I am curious though, ref the slot in the blade would that have been worth the time and effort to put it in and decorate each end with scorpions on already pitted metal?
    Thanks again!

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