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Thread: portraits of 2 generals with their sabers...

  1. #1
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    portraits of 2 generals with their sabers...

    Pic 1

    The Imperial Regulation saber appears to be from this category type:

    http://chineseswords2.freewebspace.com/index.html
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    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 01-23-2005 at 08:42 AM.

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    Pic 2

    These 2 Imperial portraits are from pages 165 and 139 of the book "Qianlong Tu Chuan", Beijing 2004...
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    Some related pics posted previously on this forum...




  4. #4
    Wonderful! Makes me wonder: Are there daos like that to be found on the open market or are they all in museums?

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    I am not well-acquainted with the antiques market... Maybe you should check with Scott Rodell or Alex Huangfu...

    Philip Tom has one, as evidenced from his swordforum webpage:

    http://galleria.swordforum.com/philtom/philtom-3.php



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    Fred Chen repro (pic from his official website):

    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 01-23-2005 at 08:59 AM.

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    Another high-ranking court official with his regulation saber...
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    Does anyone know if the color of the scabbard was symbolic, or just part of the "regulations" regarding the saber? I just notice that almost all the above picture show a green scabbard.

    Thanks.

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    The symbology of colours...

    Emperor Qianlong...


    If I understand correctly, the use of brown colour fabric for the saber handle wrap was reserved for the Emperor and the Royal Family...



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    The rest were required to use green...

    Emperor Qianlong with his escorts...



    Moderator Scott Rodell's Imperial 2-handed saber...




    However, I seem to detect the use of blue fabric for the handle wrapping, based on some pictures... Perhaps they were used by some category of personnel...


    As for the ubiquitious green scabbards... If I am not wrong, I understand that this was some form of common denominator colour... Even Emperor Kangxi ( earlier picture of the gentleman in blue armour sitting on a stool) carries one...

    Perhaps Philip Tom could step in and explain on this one...

    Notice below that even the bowcase is colour-coordinated to match the scabbard...
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    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 04-07-2005 at 05:44 PM.

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    The quiver case is also colour-coordinated...
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    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 04-07-2005 at 05:18 PM.

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    An Imperial escort of Emperor Kangxi carrying his zhanmadao or "horse chopping saber", strapped and slung by his back... In the original painting kept in the Forbidden City, there were also several other mounted escorts all carrying zhanmadaos...

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    Portrait of Manchu official "Jalafengge" with his court uniform and the "lion" rank on his chest.. His rank would have been either, Colonel, Brigadier-General or Major-General... if I am not wrong...

    No weapons depicted...

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    Lightbulb

    I know I mentioned it once before but I think it bear repeating in case anyone has any thoughts. Has anyone noticed how consistently the sabres are worn opposite of how we usually consider wearing a sword in the West? By this I mean that almost invariably the individuals in these portraits are wearing their swords with the hilt pointing to the rear rather than forward. Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    Midwest Hapkido, Inc.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by Bruce W Sims
    I know I mentioned it once before but I think it bear repeating in case anyone has any thoughts. Has anyone noticed how consistently the sabres are worn opposite of how we usually consider wearing a sword in the West? By this I mean that almost invariably the individuals in these portraits are wearing their swords with the hilt pointing to the rear rather than forward. Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    I notice this too. My hypothesis is that because the bow case is in the left position, as they will hold the bow in the left hand, the sword being on the left means that positioning in the "usual" way, means that the bow case will get in the way. As such, it appears that the sword is drawn from behind rather than in front.

    It appears that the bow is more important than the sword during some eras in China.
    Lawyer in training

    Both sides deserves an advocate.

    I reserve the right to change my opinion upon the furnishing of new evidence.

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    1550s Ming cavalry with their sabers, handle pointing front..
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    Mongol Archer..
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    Valin

    Check out this latest pic...

    Tang Dynasty armoured troops with their straight daos and a 2-handed weapon with a 1:1 blade to handle ratio...what I believe to be known as the "modao"... the ancestor of some Ming and Qing polearms with a 1:1 blade-handle ratio such as the huyadao etc... The "modao" was also recorded in the history books as being used to chop down horses and riders... though the tactic of cutting horse legs was not specifically mentioned...

  17. #17
    Wow, Great Stuff!! Please keep it coming!!
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  18. #18
    Where, exactly, are these pictures coming from?

    Those long protrusions on the swords in the last picture look like an extension of the tang. Records of the Medieval Sword show a European blade that has not been trimmed down at the tang yet (which is very long in the photo). I wonder if this is anything of the same.

    Doug M

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    Doug

    The large pic above is a mural painting from a Tang Royal tomb dated 7th Century...

    I speculate that the spikes at the handle end are for the purpose of implanting them into the ground as an anti-cavalry barricade...

    whereby a pair of them are bound and formed into an "X" shape... Multiples of these "X"s are then connected together and

    driven into the ground... This was a common type of barricade during the Song Dynasty...

    Polearms in the Song also had this spike:
    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 04-09-2005 at 02:34 AM.

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    A series of quaint British prints of Qing soldiers, preserved in the British Library... Note that the artists may not have depicted many of the features accurately...
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    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 04-09-2005 at 03:23 AM.

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    ...
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    Handle to the rear on the left at all times...

    I know this has been discussed before here in the past, but has any general concensus on why officers wore their sabers this way been reached? I have a theory, but I'm wondering what everyone here thinks about this?
    "To practice Martial Arts, always be dumb and stubborn, never try to be smart and clever"
    -Liu Yun Chiao

  25. #25
    As I said above, it is probably because of the bow.
    Lawyer in training

    Both sides deserves an advocate.

    I reserve the right to change my opinion upon the furnishing of new evidence.

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