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Old 11th June 2007, 04:10 PM   #1
Bill M
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Default Tibetan Sword

Responding to several posts on another thread got me looking at my favorite (and only) Tibetan sword. 37" long. had it about two years. Don't think I have posted it before.

Comments?
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Old 11th June 2007, 04:29 PM   #2
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Wonderful
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Old 11th June 2007, 07:53 PM   #3
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Fantastic!

Should you ever tire of it...
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Old 11th June 2007, 08:44 PM   #4
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Very pleasing to the eye indeed.
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Old 11th June 2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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Nice quality brass scabbard work indeed!

Spiral
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Old 15th June 2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for the compliments.

My wife Anne just noticed a peculiar bit of synchronicity in that the pattern on the scabbard is very similar to the fractal symbol used by extrateresstrials in the TV series "Threshold."

Hmmm. Not that I place any credence in this. Don't think there were ET with Tibetan swords.
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Old 15th June 2007, 01:57 AM   #7
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Default The three-way yin-yang

Is called a gan-shi and refers to the various trinities in Tibetan thought, such as Buddha-Dharma-Sangha. Its name means 'whirling joy".

It's often yellow-red-blue.

Since I know so much about Tibet, don't you think that I am worthy of that sword?

Translation- I think it's great!
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Old 15th June 2007, 03:34 AM   #8
Jim McDougall
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I'll join the others in complimenting you on this fantastic Tibetan sword Bill! and also on another count, your lovely wife is also incredibly astute!!!
It is extremely interesting when modern popular culture adopts well established and often ancient symbolism into science fiction.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 8th November 2020, 05:09 PM   #9
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Arrow

Wonderful blade, thanks for sharing
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Old 10th November 2020, 01:19 PM   #10
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Thank you for sharing.
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Old 10th November 2020, 01:59 PM   #11
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Beautiful; if you only had one Tibetan sword, that would be the one to have!
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Old 10th November 2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Wauw. What a gem!
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Old 11th November 2020, 02:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montino Bourbon
Is called a gan-shi and refers to the various trinities in Tibetan thought, such as Buddha-Dharma-Sangha. Its name means 'whirling joy".

It's often yellow-red-blue.



Thanks for the explanation and terminology. This trefoil rondel motif is also prominent in Japanese and Korean folk art and undoubtedly has the same origin considering the role that Mahayana Buddhism has played in the formation of Far Eastern cultures.
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Old 11th November 2020, 02:15 AM   #14
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Default scabbard details

This style of Tibetan scabbard shows considerable Chinese influence, as displayed in its suspension system: a perforated bar, retained by metal bands around the scabbard, to which the straps which hook onto the belt are attached. The more common variation is not suspended, but rather is worn inserted in the wide sash which is a part of Tibetan traditional costume. As with the Japanese katana, that type of scabbard holds the sword edge-up.

Another detail- this scabbard is covered with the embossed and lacquered vellum (imitating rayskin) commonly seen on Chinese saber scabbards of the 19th century, on both civilian and military weapons. There was quite a bit of stylistic and technical interchange between resident artisans in the Sino- Tibetan borderlands, particularly in the area of Derge (referred to as Ta-tsien-lu in some old books) alocale known for metalwork of high quality

Last edited by Philip : 11th November 2020 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 11th November 2020, 02:36 PM   #15
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Wonderful to see responses on these OLD threads!!! even if nearly 14 years later! Its almost surreal. I get excited to see names I havent seen for so long, and think they're back.

This Tibetan sword is amazing, and does remind me of a Chinese sword with that round guard in unusual position, rather like the chakram style discs on some North Indian swords. The Chinese sword was featured in a Royal Armouries yearbook, but cannot recall which off hand (Philip....help).

Its great to see the explanation of the symbolism, hats off to Montino.

It seems like Tibetan craftsmen in border regions of China produced weapons for the Chinese and there was some sort of 'tribute' arrangement, which would account for an expected degree of cross influence.
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Old 11th November 2020, 07:40 PM   #16
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Default Ming sword in the RAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall


This Tibetan sword is amazing, and does remind me of a Chinese sword with that round guard in unusual position, rather like the chakram style discs on some North Indian swords. The Chinese sword was featured in a Royal Armouries yearbook, but cannot recall which off hand (Philip....help).

.


The sword you have in mind was published in the Royal Armouries' Yearbook Vol. 1 (1996) in an article by Thom Richardson, Keeper of Armour. As a bit of background, it was originally acquired from a private collection by a New York dealer, and it was eventually acquired by the RAM, much to their credit.

The sword is Chinese only in its origin, stylistically it is mostly Tibetan, especially in relation to its essential form. (the blade has, at some later time, been replaced with a rather inferior Tibetan one that doesn't even fit the handle properly). Details of its decoration and workmanship are believed to be analogous to a small group of objects, including a ceremonial ax, traced to the imperial workshops in Peking, probably during the reign of the Yongle (Yung-lo) Emperor, beginning 15th cent.

The vertical orientation of the guard on the sword in this thread is indeed reminiscent of the vertical position of the zoomorphic face on the RAM's sword. It is not a strictly Chinese feature, it is seen on the RAM sword because, like the objects mentioned previously, it was obviously made for the Tibetan market. Perhaps as a diplomatic gift?

Many Chinese guards (on swords as well as sabers) are indeed flat and discoid (although the profile is not strictly circular in the majority of cases), but they are mounted "horizontally" i.e. in a perpendicular position to the blade. Think of it as "tsuba-ish". See the pic below which shows an ovoid shape more frequent in the genre.

Perfectly circular contours are more common on Japanese tsubas, and on the guards of many Vietnamese sabers, or on those Thai daabs which hilted locally la japonnaise.
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