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Thread: Different types of daos

  1. #1
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    Different types of daos

    Dear friends,

    Chinese swords are truly fascinating. I wish that someday we will have many book on classification of these wonderful weapons. Look at this dao. Any input is welcome:

    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  2. #2
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    More pictures of the same sword.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr



    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  3. #3
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    More pictures of the same dao.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Huangfu
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  4. #4
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    Another dao. Is this a yanmadao?

    KInd regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  5. #5
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    MOre pictures of the sword number 2

    KInd regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  6. #6
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    Dao number 3

    The handle wrapping is a replcament

    KInd regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  7. #7
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    More pictures of dao number 3

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Hunagfu
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  8. #8
    The first one is a yanmao (goose quill) dao, while the other two are liuye (willow leaf) dao. The first two have fuller patterns and fittings (square fangshi style) that mark them as 18th century, while the last has the round fittings found on nineteenth century swords. Given the fuller pattern on the last sword, I would guess early 19th century. These are all according to military regulations and all would have been officers' swords judging from their quality. I notice that the round fittings are brass while the square ones are iron. This also seems typical of the transition from the 18th to the 19th centuries.
    Josh

  9. #9
    Oops, correction, the last set of fittings is iron as well. The lobate guard is not so identifiable with a particular period, but I would stick with my early nineteenth century guess on the sword, but shift it back a bit to include the late 18th century given the iron fittings.
    Josh

  10. #10
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    Thank you Josh for your input. I really appreciate it.

    KInd regards

    Manouchehr

  11. #11

    Dating sabers

    I would like to comment that fangshi fittings were used both before and after the 18th century. A 17th century saber attributed to Nurhaci is fitted in fangshi fittings and a 19th century picture of Yihuan shows him carrying a saber fitted in iron fangshi fittings.

    So most fangshi sabers we find are 18th century, but the square style alone is not an accurate way to date them. Without seeing the tang it's very hard to get specific on sword age.

    One of these sabers is dated Ming by the seller, I would like to know by which criteria because it looks typical early - mid. Qing to me. The Chinese did not start using those types of fullers in the Ming yet.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Luo Shuyi View Post
    I would like to comment that fangshi fittings were used both before and after the 18th century. A 17th century saber attributed to Nurhaci is fitted in fangshi fittings and a 19th century picture of Yihuan shows him carrying a saber fitted in iron fangshi fittings.

    So most fangshi sabers we find are 18th century, but the square style alone is not an accurate way to date them. Without seeing the tang it's very hard to get specific on sword age.

    One of these sabers is dated Ming by the seller, I would like to know by which criteria because it looks typical early - mid. Qing to me. The Chinese did not start using those types of fullers in the Ming yet.
    Yes I often get a bit overenthusiastic about dating by a combination of style and what is most likely. I go by the latest date when a style was common. This has to be consistent with everything else I see, but still it can be extremely misleading. There are times when styles are most common, but often they were around both before and after the date the stylistic elements were most common. Which piece did the seller date as Ming? Was it the last one? That lobed guard is sometimes associated with Ming pieces, but I have seen it all the way into the republican era. Most likely all of these pieces range from mid 18th to mid 19th centuries, but as you say it is difficult to tell for sure.

    If anyone can post pictures of dated Chinese sword tangs I would appreciate it. So far, I associate tangs with mill scale intact with the nineteenth century, uniform dark stony patina with the 18th century and a deeply pitted dark stony tang with the 17th century (maybe early 18th). However, I have seen 12th century Japanese tangs that only look as old to me as what I am calling 18th century, so I have a lot to learn. What about the exposed tangs on shuang jian? Do they age at the same rate as enclosed tangs? How old would you say this set is?
    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...duation343.jpg

    I am calling them mid to late 19th century because I can see mill scale. What do you think?
    Josh

  13. #13
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    Let us continue with the pictures of daos.

    KInd regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Huangfu
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  14. #14
    That is a nice dao. I have made a new thread to further explore the question of dating so we can focus on the sabers.

    The pierced fittings are nineteenth century in style, but perhaps a little on the crude side? The finishing looks a little rough. The rayskin looks like it is almost in mint condition. Has it been replaced recently?

    It is interesting that older blades in good condition almost never show obvious pattern welding. It seems that the rough polish obscures the patterns. I think of the pattern welding as an artistic element, but this reminds me that the pattern welding is there for practical reasons.
    Josh

  15. #15
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    This is a museum piece. Does someone know which museum?

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

    Courtesy of Alex Huangfu
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  16. #16
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    Another dao

    Courtesy of Alex Huangfu
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  17. #17
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    Last picture

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