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Thread: Better identify jian?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Chicago area
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    Better identify jian?

    I acquired two new jian at a local auction this week (along with a saber I still need to research).

    I am trying to find out what I can about them, and how old they may be or whether they are reproductions.

    Overview:


    Both have peened diamond shaped blades. Both are about twice as thick at the base of the blade as they are at the tip. Both at least have been sharpened. Both are not quite symmetrical-- there is clearly a right way and a wrong way for them to fit into the scabbards, even though the blades are straight.

    Jian #1:

    I asked a friend to translate the Chinese-- the answer I got was Wu Du Jian -- Five Poisons Sword.

    Strong but not in-your-face markings of what either is, or I am meant to believe is, pattern welding:

    Differentially sharpened-- not as sharp near the base as mid and tip.

    Jian #2:
    Much different blade design. Instead of the solid brass "rivets" these are more designed allowing you to see through them.




    Blade has strong lines a bit from each edge, and different "texturing" in the middle.

    Thoughts?

    --David--

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Modern. Maybe 21st century, aged to look older? Could be late 20th century. These look a lot like many of the current crop of fake antique jian out there. Sometimes, these have good blades, sanmai with pattern welded sides and good heat treatment, and sometimes the blades aren't heat treated, or are etched in a fake pattern. A hardness testing file might tell you something useful about this.

    Otherwise, they look OK. The photos don't convince me that the pattern on the second one is real (i.e., not just etched into a monosteel blade).

    The brass dots are the commonly-found "7 stars".
    "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
    Join Date
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    I suspect you are correct about the second one being monosteel. Possibly the first as well. I don't think they are 21st century, but I could believe 20th-- assuming they were sold by the same consigner as the third sword I picked up at the same auction-- which still had a moving sticker on it from what I believe is a defunct moving company.

    The quality of the blades seemed almost too good in comparison to the rest.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    The blades can be surprisingly good. I bought a $30 fake antique jian with very trashy fittings. Blade was a nice pattern welded sanmai blade, good tang.

    How are they for weight and balance? (My criterion for jian balance is simple: forward pivot point at or very close to the tip.)
    "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
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    The weight and balance don't seem too strange to me, but these are the first jian I have seen live and in person, and I am hardly an expert at judging such things. #1 is heavier than #2, but the blade is wider which I am sure is the primary factor in the weight difference. Center of balance on both is about 7 or so inches from the base of the blade.

    (Have a buyer for #2 and expect it to be gone later this week. The right person with interest at the right time, even for a likely repro.)

  6. #6
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    That's a bit far out for jian point of balance. But as I said, that's not the key element of the balance.
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen View Post
    That's a bit far out for jian point of balance. But as I said, that's not the key element of the balance.
    Yes, they are both fairly recent reproductions.

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