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Thread: Identify old(?) chinese (?) sword

  1. #1

    Identify old(?) chinese (?) sword

    Hi there,
    i have got this sword:
    and have no clue where it is from, nor how old it etc..
    if anybody could help me? i would be glad to get any suggestions...
    i have been looking in the internet for hours, but could find any that had the same decoration... maybe its very worthy ?


  2. #2
    doesnt anybody know anything??

    i┤d be glad if one could confirm that it is chinese at all....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    China mainland
    new beautify art work but ont a weapon
    celphone={+86-10} 13347181934
    i like make friends with whom loves antique sword all over the world

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang Songliao View Post
    new beautify art work but ont a weapon
    It is certainly Chinese and brand new. I would like a closer look at the blade please. It is interesting.

  5. #5
    hi there,
    thanks for the replies.

    i have taken some more pictures, including looks on the blade, the hilt and some decoration...

    i am happy about any information!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Hi Viktor:

    Interesting sword. I've never seen any Chinese swords like this before. Like the previous posts, it's most likely fairly new. Where did you get it? Maybe some history as to how or where you got it can give us some clues?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I could be an old Chinese or Vietnamese or even Tibetan blade that has a new hilt and scabbard.

  8. #8
    thanks for the replies!

    I got it from my granddad who bought it abot 40 years ago from an antique section of a big shop center called "berringer" in germany. this company hold various trading relationship to asian countries...

    on the hilt there are some letters, saying "Z51". It is written with any liquid in blue. My father said that it might be a collectornumber for a museum or something like that.

    i was surprised that some parts of the sword, for instance the carving in the hilt, are very much detailed and look filigree, but other things such as some of the golden dragons are rather "simple".

    and i thought one could compare the patterns of the decoration, e.g. the dragons, with other chinese/tibetan/vietnamese things to find parallels... well i looked in the internet but couldnt really find any comparable things. only the gold dragons the kind of holder with the two rings reminds me of some chinese swords i have seen. but i am not an expert at all...
    @allen burns: a new hilt and scabbard is everything isnt it? you mean just the blade is old?

    could i give you any other pictures that would help you??

  9. #9
    Well now things are getting really strange. Are you absolutely sure your family has had it for over 40 years? Sometimes people say things to make something interesting, without thinking they will be taken seriously. I was given a brand new antique scroll painting by my brother in law, who thought an exciting story would make me happy.

    Anyway, some of the work is higher quality than what one would expect on a fake, but on the other hand, it is not in the style of antiques I have seen. The blade looks like it may well be old, matched with some more recent high quality work.

    I would like to see the throat of the scabbard close up looking inside, the tip of the scabbard (chape), the end of the pommel, and more close-ups of the blade please. The blade pictures need to be large, and as clear as possible.

    If what you say is true, I am starting to think this may be some sort of presentation piece circa 1950. It is certainly nicer than what a usual tourist picks up. How did it get out of China? It seems to have come out during the cultural revolution which is unlikely.
    Last edited by josh stout; 03-31-2008 at 09:12 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Thanks for the info Viktor.
    I didn't see your second set of close up photos until last night and from the info you also provided, I don't think this sword is a fake or newly made. The workmanship on the piece is top notch, and the blade looks like it has age to it. I think this is a piece well worth further investigating.

  11. #11
    Yes, it is starting to get interesting. The metal handle and scabbard remind me of a similar but more plain piece I saw for sale from Taiwan recently. This still has the look of something late, perhaps Republican, but the work is very good.

  12. #12

    wow thanks a lot for the answers. it is great to read them, especially because it seems that you really get deeper into the matter.

    since i dont know anything about the sword apart from what my father and grandma told me, which is without doubt true and genuine, and what i told you already (i just asked my dad again since when we got the sword and he is quite sure that his dad bought in about 1975), you guys made me curious to know all about it and to give you all what you need toinvestigate it as good as possible.

    I am going to take some more of the pictures that were asked for and will be right back in a couple of minutes...

  13. #13
    ... I didn┤t get the pictures uploaded individually but put them into a folder which you you can download here:

    it┤s quite big (50 MB) because it contains 14 high quality pictures including the ones i was asked for by josh.

  14. #14
    Well I finally got the file-sharing program to work right.

    You have a Republican era duan (short) jian (two edged sword) made around 1930 give or take a decade. The blade is older, and matched with the later fittings. The fittings are some of the fanciest I have seen. Decoration like this is not uncommon with Tibetan things, but Chinese jian tend to be simpler. It was not made to be used, and considering the wear, was probably only ever used for display. The blade is good steel, but clearly reshaped, and without any special characteristics beyond the typical three plate san mai construction. It could have been made for a foreign dignitary or other personage as a presentation piece. It is short enough to pack easily, and showy enough for someone quite important. I hope this helps. It is a nice piece.

  15. #15

    your description is more than i ever had expected... thanks for your help! now i know what i have got hanging around in my room... a seventy years old sword worn by a dignity... that makes it even more worthy to look at

    thanks again.

  16. #16
    Well I talked to some friends about this sword, and it seems I was right the first time. This is later than a Republican piece, ie. it was made after 1949. Apparently these were made for the export market and sold through countries like Russia that maintained relations with China during that period. My friends showed me some pictures of a similar one with a known provenance. They say these were quite popular with Taiwanese collectors who liked flashy things more than authentic antiques. I still think the work is top quality, but it would have to be viewed as a vintage show piece rather than something with real history. The blade is good steel as I said, but not particularly special.

    So you have a 19th C blade with fittings made for show between 1950 and 1970. It is lovely work, and quite worthy of display.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Long Quan city, Zhejiang province, China.
    It first struck me as a Tibetan piece as well.
    the shape of the handle, guard, the sheath... All reminds me of Tibetan swords.

    Anyways, this is a beautiful piece of work. Highly detailed, and those stones are real. Thats real jade btw. Very nice.

    Best regards, Kenneth A.H.
    I study at:
    Long Quan Zheng Wu Knife & Sword Forge.
    I work at:
    Zheng Wu Knife & Sword Company.
    Qing Zhong Knife & Sword Company.
    Exclusive Porcelain.

  18. #18
    Yes this is an amazing piece even if it is not that old. The jade has the look of "melted fat" that I have read about as what Chinese collectors looked for. So often carved jades, even some antiques, have a rough look with straight saw cuts. The stones all look genuine and the brass work approaches the best antique work.

    It is only the overall style that looks more recent, and this is why my initial reaction was to say this was a recent fake.

    I think we should aknowledge that the first post was exactly correct. It is a work of art, but not an antique weapon.


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