Large daoist jian
Overall length

108.8 cm / 42.8 inch

Blade length

93.5 cm / 36.8 inch

Blade thickness

forte 6.5 mm
middle 6 mm
near tip 4 mm

Blade width

forte 49 mm
middle 45 mm
near tip 37 mm

Weight without scabbard

2023 grams

Point of balance

20cm from guard

Origin

China

Materials

Iron, steel, brass, wood, linen.

Dating

19th century.

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Description

An exceptionally large and heavy jian with long, wide blade. The blade is well forged, with inserted hardened edges and with a proper temper. One side of the blade is polished by Philip Tom to reveal its lamellar construction. The other side is left "as found".

The heavy guard is cast out of two plates, riveted together with iron rivets. The pommel is also cast, probably as one piece. Comes with original scabbard covered with linen and then lacquered red. Chape missing.

Chiseled in the blade is “勅今” which could either mean "imperial order" or "Daoist magic command". In the bracket are: "北斗七星南斗六星", or literally "Big Dipper and South Douliou Star", the latter is a Chinese constellation of six starts seen in the constellation we call Saggitarius. Both are significant constellations in Chinese Daoism. The guard somewhat resembles Taoist lotus-shaped candle offerings, and I suspect the sword was related to Daoist practice.

Many antique Daoist swords that survived have good, usable blades like this one. Perhaps it was part of the belief that the sword must be “live” to have significance. Most Daoist swords, however, are of the short variety.

Conclusion

A large and impressive sword, with large well-forged blade, that is probably connected to Daoist practices. Antique Chinese straightswords of this size are very rare, this is the only one I've ever seen with such Daoist markings.

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Antique Chinese daoist sword

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

Built around a beautifully forged blade, in full polish, revealing a burl grain pattern.

€3800,-

With influences from several cultures that are rarely seen on a single blade.

€6000,-

A fine Chinese straightsword blade, of typical Qing form with a rather wide profile.

€5000,-

A rather well-made example of its type.

€1500,-

Such boxes were probably used to move imperial orders from the emperor’s quarters to the recipient, like a governor or a battlefield commander.

Price on request

An interesting pierced iron Asian export sword guard that

€1200,-
ARTICLE
The Bikaner Armory
The enthusiast of Indian arms and armor will sooner or later hear a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Markings on Chinese swords
Introduction I always like studying markings on arms because in ma...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of an Ottoman bow
For the bowyers and archery researchers, detailed measurements of a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of a Manchu bow
I decided to carefully document some notable items, among which thi...
Read the article