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Old 26th May 2015, 12:40 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default An extremely complicated blade pattern

This post is for those collectors that appreciate patterned blades and for any blacksmiths that have created pattern welded blades.

This is a Chinese blade, 17/18th century, with a blade that features both twistcore AND a horse tooth Hamon. Fine twistcore that is tight without seam openings is an accomplishment and horse tooth Hamon by itself is a complicated feat. To find them together is quite rare.

Enjoy.
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Old 26th May 2015, 01:43 PM   #2
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A very interesting blade with Torsion damascus pattern. But i can see no hamon. In my understanding the hamon is the transition area between the hard cutting edge and the softer steel above the cutting edge. The color of a real hamon differs from white to black, depending on the angle of light.

Can you make pictures with flashlight or with a scanner please? This would show the hamon more clearly.

And can you make a picture of the whole sword please?

I added two pictures for you, one shows the hamon on my yoroi doshi tanto and the other one shows the compositions of a torsion damascus pattern, grinded down step by step.

Regards Roland
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Old 26th May 2015, 03:41 PM   #3
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Roland, are you suggesting that the absence of an identifiable hamon implies that Rick's blade has an inserted edge--a three layer construction in the manner of the Japanese san mei technique?
Ian.
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Old 26th May 2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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Ian, as far as i know, some high quality antique straight swords from China have a hamon. But i have never seen such a blade, they are seemingly quite rare.

If not repolished, the hamon disappear after a few decades, depending on the quality of forging and heating.

I cannot see, whether there is a hamon or not. This is why i asked for more pictures with flash. Additionally i suggest a careful cleaning with a non-abrasive metal polish.

In my opinion this is not a three layers construction. The border between the outer and inner steel is normally more or less straight or chaotic.
Imho the blade looks like high quality forging.

I like the blade very much.

Roland

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Old 26th May 2015, 04:40 PM   #5
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What an interesting mix of patterns!
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Old 26th May 2015, 05:55 PM   #6
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I think the confusion is from the phrase "horse tooth hamon". As far as I know, the horse tooth pattern in Chinese swords is "jia gang" or inserted edge construction, while a similar wavy edge pattern, made only through differential heat treatment, is found on some Japanese swords. Chinese sabers often will have both an inserted edge and differential heat treatment, but do not usually show a fancy pattern in the heat treatment. Some show an abrupt transition while others have a slow cloudy fade in, but I have never seen anything like a horse tooth done with heat treatment. Most twist core Chinese sabers do not have an inserted edge, so this one with the horse tooth pattern is truly rare. In high polish, the heat treatment can be obvious, but also it will also show as part of a patina. I am not sure if this one shows differential edge heating, but it is still amazing.

Very, very nice
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Old 26th May 2015, 06:04 PM   #7
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The blade has an inserted edge between cheeks of twistcore steel. If you look at my bottom picture and then to the left side of the blade, which is the cutting edge, you will see regular undulations. Below those undulations there is no pattern. This is the area I am referring to as the hamon. While my pictures may not highlight it particularly well there is definitely a clear delineation. Look to the right side of the screen and you can see the twistcore pattern goes to the spine. That regular up and down undulation is referred to as horse tooth by the Chinese because of the regularity. Horse tooth hamon are fairly rare on their own but to accomplish this between cheeks of twistcore steel is a particularly fine forging.

I tend to use hamon in both a Japanese and non Japanese context. The high art polish of a Japanese sword is what really gives it that milky white coloration. Take a Japanese sword for just a foundation polish and you will clearly see the "hamon" but it will not be milky. Many cultures have blades made from inserts steel between cheeks of soft steel and if polished you will see that delineation between the two zones. You see it in Moro, in Chinese, in Indian and occasionally in Southeast Asia. You also see changes in coloration from heat treatment along the cutting edges. Some dha, for example, have their edges flamed hardened and this creates a dark zone along the edge. You see this on wootz steel sometimes. There will be a clear color differentiation between the hardened area and the rest of the blade. You even see it in Nepalese kukri and American Bowie knives. You can learn a lot about how the blade was forged, quenched and hardened from a professional polish and etch. I even one time had an early Kilij blade that had an inserted edge of high carbon steel between cheeks of wootz steel!
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Old 26th May 2015, 10:24 PM   #8
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A lovely piece! What great forging!

So it is a rounded horse tooth pattern of mono steel inserted in a twist core sandwich?

Beautiful!

I would have never guessed Chinese in my ignorance... Its nice to see something different.
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Old 27th May 2015, 09:28 PM   #9
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I know very little about Chinese swords, but do recognize a gorgeous blade when I see one. Great piece!
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Old 27th May 2015, 10:32 PM   #10
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I do love the Turkish ribbon!
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Old 2nd June 2015, 03:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for explaining the "hamon" in the horse tooth inserted edge. Now that it is pointed out, the "milky", "cloudy" look is obvious along the edge. Some of the "teeth" are whiter than others, and you can see some where the milky look is discontinuous.

Again, amazing.
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Old 13th June 2015, 11:55 PM   #12
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Banal comment alert!

So cool, Rick...incredible.
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