18th century officer's peidao | Mandarin Mansion

18th century officer's peidao

A classic large 18th century officer's peidao in elegant iron fangshi hilt fittings. Excellently balanced, the blade is of liuyedao type, with gentle curvature. It has a single fuller on either side. The steel is in recent polish by Philip Tom. Blade of qiangang construction with the high carbon cutting edge exposed from layers of softer iron and steels, heat-treated to form a crystalline structure that shows up as a cloudy effect around the edge. The effect is shuangxue in Chinese, perhaps better known as hamon from Japanese sword collecting circles. Recently restored and in full polish, save for some minor scratches and pits that were too deep to remove. It comes with a newly made resting scabbard.

Overall length: 88.4 cm / 34.8 inch
Blade length: 74 cm / 29.1 inch
Thickness: forte 8 mm, middle 5 mm, near tip 3 mm
Blade width: forte 34.5 mm
Weight without scabbard: 788 grams

Commander, nobleman and Jinchuan war hero Mingliyang with his iron mounted fangshi peidao. Soldiers -per regulation- could only have brass mounted sabers. Iron hilt fittings such as these were more expensive and reserved for the officer ranks. Those of even higher ranks had the right to have their fittings further embellished with silver or golden decorations. They did not all chose to do so, like general Mingliang who despite his high rank was known for his frugality.

Sabers like these were the sidearm of choice for the Manchu banner armies at the height of the Qing dynasty's power, and as such are highly desirable among the more serious collectors. It has become exceedingly rare to find blades of this era, let alone in decent condition and with their original hilt fittings as most were disassembled during the iron craze of the "Great Leap". The piece presented here is a classic example of the 18th century style with angular hilt mountings and an elegantly radiused pommel profile. The new grip wrap was done in the stone blue cord that was the appropriate color for officers.

A rare chance to acquire a saber from the height of the Qing dynasty's military power.


Contact: peter@mandarinmansion.com