Qing dynasty short saber | Mandarin Mansion

Qing dynasty short saber

Overall length: 61 cm / 24 inch
Blade length: 46 cm / 18 inch
Thickness at forte: 7 mm
Weight without scabbard: 518 grams

Such short sabers, 短刀 (duandao), were carried by infantry such as musketeers and were used as auxiliary weapons or for close quarters fighting. This example is of qiangang construction with an inserted high-carbon edge between layers of softer steel. The hard edge plate is still sharp and is brought out by etching.

It comes with original handle and set of original iron hilt fittings. I refitted the hilt because it was loose, and re-assembled with its original parts. The parts are of pretty good manufacture for this type. Iron fittings were a step up from the sheet brass fittings that were usually reserved for the soldier class. The blade is well-made, straight with even contours, no signs of excessive polishing. Some minor damage to the hardened edge, including some hairline cracks, that are very common on Qing short sabers. These are caused by the extreme hardness of the edge plate, but the outer layers of the forge folded construction protect this brittle layer so on relatively thick and short sabers like these they are of no functional consequence. It handles well, don't mistake it for its smaller size, it is as much a real fighter as its larger brothers.

It comes with a set of reproduction scabbard fittings, accurately reproduced in the round style (yuanshi) that a scabbard for this type of saber would have come in.

Overall a a charming Qing dynasty short saber with well-made blade and in its original iron hilt fittings.


Philip Tom can make a scabbard for this weapon, which would traditionally be covered with black or dark brown leather.
I can do a traditional grip wrap on the old hilt, although it grips quite fine as it is.

Interested? Questions?
Contact peter@mandarinmansion.com