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Old 13th September 2022, 12:09 PM   #1
Anthony G.
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Default Ming late dynasty Chinese Dao (Saber)

Ming late dynasty Chinese Dao (Saber)
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Old 13th September 2022, 02:01 PM   #2
Lee
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Following Peter Dekker's article this looks most like a "goose quill saber" with a simplified "goose wing" termination. Hopefully Peter and Phillip will weigh in.
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Old 13th September 2022, 08:27 PM   #3
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Seems unusual to see tunkou on one of these, but clearly this is a hybrid as so often the case with these forms. While I am anxious to see the input from Philip and Peter, I wanted to add my own similar example for perspective.
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Old 13th September 2022, 10:28 PM   #4
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Hi Antony and others,
I think i know that one...
Honestly, it looks like a Yanchidao (goose wing) saber.
Potentially, fittings are a bit later from blade. Some excavated swords from that type avec been attributed to 14th (Yuan period).
I have discussed that one with Peter and Philip some months or year ago. It could be from late ming/early qing dynasty. At the same period, i had also contacted a chinese author and sword collector that assessed late ming/qing. Still, it could also be a bit later. It's always difficult to know. I think that saying 18th would be a reasonnable guess ?
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Old 14th September 2022, 02:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBG163 View Post
Hi Antony and others,
I think i know that one...
Honestly, it looks like a Yanchidao (goose wing) saber.
Potentially, fittings are a bit later from blade. Some excavated swords from that type avec been attributed to 14th (Yuan period).
I have discussed that one with Peter and Philip some months or year ago. It could be from late ming/early qing dynasty. At the same period, i had also contacted a chinese author and sword collector that assessed late ming/qing. Still, it could also be a bit later. It's always difficult to know. I think that saying 18th would be a reasonnable guess ?

Could be and also I was told that iron fitting is usually earlier than 19th/20th century. This is one of my favorite. Enjoy the photo.
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Old 20th September 2022, 06:54 AM   #6
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Blade shape is usually called fengchidao (phoenix wing saber). The type does indeed date back to the Ming if not earlier, as indicated by depiction in art of the era, and a few surviving specimens. The fittings on this one look like later replacements, Qing for sure, judging from their style, probably around the 18th cent.
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Old 20th September 2022, 08:33 AM   #7
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Blade shape is usually called fengchidao (phoenix wing saber). The type does indeed date back to the Ming if not earlier, as indicated by depiction in art of the era, and a few surviving specimens. The fittings on this one look like later replacements, Qing for sure, judging from their style, probably around the 18th cent.

Hi Philip

Greeting.

I was hopping that you can advice me the possible reasons that the groove was so badly done. Many thanks.
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Old 20th September 2022, 01:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the correction on terminology Philip ! Wasnt aware of that name.
Here is a type of sword excavated, attributed to 13/14th, found in the Altai and described in the book: de l'épée scythe au sabre mongol ,by Iaroslav Lebedynsky.
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Old 20th September 2022, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Thanks for the correction on terminology Philip ! Wasnt aware of that name.
Here is a type of sword excavated, attributed to 13/14th, found in the Altai and described in the book: de l'épée scythe au sabre mongol ,by Iaroslav Lebedynsky.
The subject of this thread is remarkably similar to "B" in the array of illustrated examples. At any rate, the tunkou or sleeve at the base of the blade was a common feature of Inner Asian sabers during this medieval period, and it influenced the derivative adoption and subsequent evolution of this weapon in late imperial China. The tunkou appears to have originated separately from the habaki on Japanese swords since it is structurally different and there are no "proto-habaki" on any surviving early Japanese blades which have the form that these Inner Asian versions have.
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Old 20th September 2022, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hi Philip

Greeting.

I was hopping that you can advice me the possible reasons that the groove was so badly done. Many thanks.
In this photo they don't look all that bad. The whole surface is disfigured by patches of corrosion. In my experience in restoring antique swords, a proper polish will make these fullers look real crisp again. Believe me, I've seen worse on ethnographic weapons of all sorts, when they are sloppily cut to begin with, it's often a lost cause to fix them because too much metal has to be remove to adjust depth and contour.
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Old 20th September 2022, 04:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
In this photo they don't look all that bad. The whole surface is disfigured by patches of corrosion. In my experience in restoring antique swords, a proper polish will make these fullers look real crisp again. Believe me, I've seen worse on ethnographic weapons of all sorts, when they are sloppily cut to begin with, it's often a lost cause to fix them because too much metal has to be remove to adjust depth and contour.
Thank you for sharing
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Old 22nd September 2022, 06:19 PM   #12
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Even though this blade doesn't have a guard, is it similar to your blade type "B?"The sword with the rings on the pommel reminds me of the staffs often carried by Chinese or Japanese monks.
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Old 24th September 2022, 05:44 AM   #13
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Even though this blade doesn't have a guard, is it similar to your blade type "B?"The sword with the rings on the pommel reminds me of the staffs often carried by Chinese or Japanese monks.
This looks like an agricultural implement repurposed as a "weapon", the jingly rings often seen on sabers, knives, and spears used for choreographic entertainment at marketplaces and temple fairs. The wire of the rings looks "fresher" than the tang of the blade as well. The same shape of blade is seen on traditional hay knives, I saw new ones for sale on a trip to China in the 1970s.
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Old 24th September 2022, 03:21 PM   #14
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Thank you for the information. I agree that it could now be a repurposed farm implement, and in my opinion, more of a bush ax, rather than a hay knife, as the blade is too heavy in the reaping of wheat(more than .25" thick at the base and not scythe shaped as most of those implements are). Another thing that causes me hesitation is that even though I believe you to be correct that the rings are newer than the hand-forged loops for the hoops, they are original and would serve little purpose in an agricultural context.
The possibility that you mentioned as it belonging to a street performer is a very good one, except that it is razor sharp and with one false move, one could easily lose a hand. I also thought that martial arts were banned in China at that time; a billion people with these swords would cause any government concern. lol.
In conclusion, I am not doubting your assertions as I have never been to China, I am not an expert on Chinese swords(or any other weapons for that matter), and I am thankful for your input; the comments that I have made are based on the advantage of actually holding the item as opposed to my poor pictures.
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