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Thread: Need Help Identifying Antique Sword

  1. #1

    Need Help Identifying Antique Sword

    This sword has been in my family for around 100 years (possibly). I am hoping to learn anything you may know about it, country/region of origin, time period, what type of sword, and possible materials used to create it, the scabbard appears to be wooden with some sort of lizard or shark skin? Total length of these swords is 24 inches, the blades are 18 and the hilt is 6.5. The blades are two edged.
    I am also interested in knowing how to safely clean/care for this sword.
    Thank You!
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #2
    Hi Laura,
    It's of course difficult to tell very much from a few small photos.
    You've posted in the right section, your swords would seem to be a set of Chinese Jian.
    If you search 'double jian' you'll see other examples.
    They look to be in fine order so just keeping the blades clean and free of finger prints will likely do the job.
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 08-06-2016 at 10:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Those are lovely looking shuang jian. They were brand new, or close to it, when they were purchased 100 years ago and have been kept nicely. I have never seen the tassles on an intact suspension cord like this. They were essentialy decorative, but usually made with sanmai blades of decent steel. Look for differences in color, or lines near the edge. They could be used for self defence if necessary, and sometimes show signs of heavy use, but these appear to be in unused condition. The double blades were often given as a symbol of harmony for a wedding, but yours do not appear to have the common "double happiness" symbol or the five bats for good luck, that one useually sees. The guard shows the usual "son of the dragon" form, typical of many jian. Many such such swords traveled abroad at the time because these single or double decorative jian have an atractive exotic look and are short enough to fit in a suitcae.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
    the scabbard appears to be wooden with some sort of lizard or shark skin?
    Rayskin. Usually from a type of stingray. In English, "shagreen" (which also includes shark skin):
    "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
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Could the images be any smaller, it is impossible to really say anything more without clear, large, detailed images.


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