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Thread: Images of armor from a Ming Dynasty scroll painting

  1. #1
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    Images of armor from a Ming Dynasty scroll painting

    At the Smithsonian Freer gallery right now

    At the Freer Gallery right now they have this great fantastic Ming dynasty scroll of Gods crossing the clouds

    Many of them wear very nicely detailed armor.








    the difference between heavily armored cavalry and what infantry have




    This one caught my eye. The soldier with his back turned, it looks like his armor is arranged in overlapping horizontal bands. That's something I only recall seeing in Japanese armor.



    looking very closely at this one, it also appears his armor is in overlapping rows





    and this one, his thigh armor, it is held up by hooks!
    I guess he is a dismounted cavalryman, but dang, I had never seen such a design before!


    I also notice, pretty much everyone's armor has this band going around the front at chest level, is it to hold it tighter against the body? It seems rather vulnerable to slashing.

  2. #2
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    I love it how the (armoured) men depicted in the artwork of this era look like lions.... or demons. Excellent.
    Better to be a warrior in the garden, than a gardener at war.

  3. #3

    Thanks

    Thank you for posting this, Andy.

    Maybe someone with some more knowledge about Chinese armor can answer your question about the band at the chest level. That would seem like poor design, and I would hope that such would not be the case. Perhaps there is another context to this that is not clear here?

    Doug Mullane

  4. #4
    I think it is a fake.

  5. #5
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    I think it is a fake.
    Hehehe! But on a serious note, the sword in the last pic is interesting, as it got a tun kuo, haven't seen that much on jian. Although I saw it on a jian sold a few weeks ago, that might have been late 19th century, there was one, to my surprise. Now does anybody know if it was common in the Ming era?

    Another thing, he holds his finger on the guard, like we do in our jian form, Tung family Yang-style. We do that for better blade control in some moves. But we dont stick it out on the blade side, just touch the guard slightly, with index finger and thumb.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Klas Larsson View Post
    Hehehe! But on a serious note, the sword in the last pic is interesting, as it got a tun kuo, haven't seen that much on jian. Although I saw it on a jian sold a few weeks ago, that might have been late 19th century, there was one, to my surprise. Now does anybody know if it was common in the Ming era?

    Another thing, he holds his finger on the guard, like we do in our jian form, Tung family Yang-style. We do that for better blade control in some moves. But we dont stick it out on the blade side, just touch the guard slightly, with index finger and thumb.
    Hi, Klass
    Here is a jian with tunkou.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Athena Chang; 05-30-2007 at 07:39 PM. Reason: attach

  7. #7
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    Hi Athena, that's a nice example! The style of the hand guard looks like it's the Ming era disc shaped guard, and looks like it's what the man/God in the scroll is holding, as far as I can see. And the tunkou also looks much the same as in the picture, and same as on the much later jian I saw on an auction. But this seems like its iron, not brass. Maybe you can show us more pictures of that jian, to see things like the blade shape.

    Many of them wear very nicely detailed armor
    Andy, maybe you already have seen the book from Shang Hai Classics Publishing House "Ancient Chinese Armour", but I would recommend it to all that want to see period illustrations of Chinese Armour and some weapons to of course, from Zhou to Qing. Text is in Chinese so not easy for all, but there are pictures on almost every page, and some line drawings on how armour where constructed and tied together, so even for those who do not read chinese this is an interesting book. There are many newly made illustrations in color, some very nice, of soldiers from every dynasty. And the book is fairly inexpensive to.
    Last edited by Klas Larsson; 05-31-2007 at 04:41 AM.

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