Tibetan fighting spearhead, mdung | Mandarin Mansion

Tibetan fighting spearhead, mdung

Overall length: 35.5 cm / 14 inch
Blade length: 22 cm / 8.7 inch
Socket inside diameter 28 mm
Socket inside diameter 34 mm
Thickness at forte: 11 mm
Max blade width: 29 mm
Thickness at widest part: 9 mm
Weight: 326 grams

Tibetan spears were called mdung. They come in two types, fighting and ceremonial. Presented is an extremely rare fighting example. The wooden shaft mdung yu or mdung shing on these is always reinforced by a spiraling coil of iron wrapped around the shaft. Spears were used in Tibet up to quite late, their use has been noted by William Rockhill who was in Tibet from 1891-1892, and also later by Younghusband whose expedition lead him to Tibet in 1903 and 1904.

For the most in-depth study of Tibetan spearheads -or weapons in general for that matter- see Donald J. Larocca's excellent book, Warriors of the Himalayas.

See a Tibetan fighting spear in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, that retains its original shaft.

This example is of flattened diamond cross-section with sturdy bulging surfaces leading to the edges. One side of the blade reveals hints of forge folding and differential heat-treatment to harden the edge. Some very minor nicks on one side. It is of good steel that rings in a high pitch, and that has no visible forging flaws. The blade widens gently at the base before turning into a narrower octagonal neck that seemlessly flows into the socket. The well-made socket is without a visible seem. The eight facets are significant, they are a reference to the Buddha's eight folded path.

A rather well-made and very rare Tibetan fighting spear head.

Price € 380,-

Interested? Questions?
Contact peter@mandarinmansion.com