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Nanban style ship tsuba signed Hishu Kanesada logo

Signed nanban style ship tsuba

Signed by an artist named Kanesada from Higo.
Tetsugendo Seiryuken Eiji tsuba

Seiryūken Eiju dragon tsuba

Tetsugendo school. Round plate with discoid cross-section, chiseled with dragons.
An Eastern Tibetan dpa'dam logo

Eastern Tibetan or Yunnan zhibeidao

A simple piece, but with a nicely etched blade typical for the Tibetan / Sichuan borderlands.
Tibetan pierced iron shortsword logo

Tibetan shortsword with pierced mounts

With characteristic pointy hairpin forged blade.
Hamon logo

Hamon (刃文)

Japanese term for the temperline on a blade, typically achieved by differential heat treatment.
Peony karakusa tsuba

Peony karakusa tsuba

Executed in "nanban style" openwork with chiseled and gold-encrusted peonies.
Sawasa style guard logo

Sawasa style iron guard

Unusual piece with depiction of a foreign figure.
Chysanthemum tsuba

Iron chrysanthemum tsuba

Large example with gold and silver overlay.
Dragon gate guard logo

Unusual dragon gate guard

Asian sword guard of unknown origin, modified in Japan.
Canton tsuba

Japanese tsuba in Canton style

Also known as Kwanto-gata, with two facing dragon chasing a pearl.
Qing military saber with Manchu label logo

The saber of Manchu Wu Songlu

A standard pattern Qing military saber, but with the rare addition of a label in Manchu.
Qing dynasty dadao logo

A large Qing dàdāo

Large and heavy example with the notable Umlauff provenance.
Daruma tsuba logo

Daruma tsuba

A peculiar tsuba with a depiction of Bodhidharma and two dragon chasing a pearl.
Kunihiro wan-gata tsuba

Wan-gata tsuba by Kunihiro

Its outer surface is decorated with interlocking swastikas and family crests.
Jinchuan Fanjian logo

Jīnchuān shortsword

Jinchuan aborigines sword, the Qianlong emperor's name for this type of sword.
Yazi tunkou logo

Tūnkǒu (吞口)

Literally "swallowing mouth", a collar piece often found on Chinese blades.
Podao logo

Pōdāo with dragon tūnkǒu

With a large iron guard and hard wooden shaft.
Chinese crescent moon maces logo

Chinese crescent tipped maces

A highly unusual set of paired maces with crescent tips.
Garlic bulb mace logo

Chinese garlic mace

Called suàntóu gǔduǒ in Mandarin, with characteristic brass head.
Chinese garlic head mace logo

Suàntóu gūduǒ (蒜頭骨朵)

Literally "garlic mace", the name of a mace with a bulbous head.
Jun Huo Ju Shuangshoudao logo

Jūn Huǒ Jú-made shuāng shǒudāo

Produced in the ordnance factory in Zengbu, near Guangzhou.
Ordinance Bureau logo

Jūn Huǒ Jú (軍火局)

Name of a Chinese arms factory just east of Guangzhou, active 1875 onwards.
Jun Huo Ju saber logo

Jūn Huǒ Jú-made saber

Produced in the ordnance factory in Zengbu, near Guangzhou.
Medium length Chinese straightsword jian logo

Chinese medium size jian

A heavy piece with a substantial blade, with smooth bronze mounts.
Chinese double swords with hook

Double shortswords with belt hook

A classic set of Chinese double swords, complete with suspension and hook.
Kuiwen shuang duanjian logo

Chinese paired shortswords

Cantonese double swords with archaic dragon design mounts.
Duanjian logo

Duǎnjiàn (短劍)

The Chinese word for a short straightsword.
Early duanjian logo

Early Chinese shortsword

A classic duanjian, but of somewhat earlier manufacture than most.
Carved scabbard shuangjian logo

Shuāngjiàn with carved scabbard

A paired jian of fushou type, with carved hardwood scabbard.
Nanako logo

Nanako (魚子/斜子)

The Japanese name for punched, dotted surface finishes on metal.
Shakudo logo

Shakudō (赤銅)

A Japanese alloy containing copper and gold.
Rooster fight kozuka logo

Rooster fight kozuka

Executed in gold and silver on a shakudō nanako base, with golden back.
Compass rose guard logo

Cast iron compass rose guard

A peculiar cast iron sword guard, probably from the South China Seas area.
Unusual Chinese saber with figure head pommel logo

Unusual Chinese saber

Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.
Nanban futakoromono

Nanban kogai & kozuka set (futakoromono)

The only set of its type known to me in both private and museum collections.
Lalaw sword logo

Large Atayal lalaw sword

A particularly nice example with 120 iron bands holding the blade.
Ainu sword hilt logo

Ainu sword hilt

Made of wood, with a silver ornamental fitting of remarkable workmanship.
Ainu sword logo

Ainu sword in Japanese polish

Exceedingly rare Ainu sword. Comes in an old Japanese collection box.
Qianlong's Jinchuan dagger logo

The Qianlong emperor's dagger from Jinchuan

In this article, we will zoom into a shortsword or dagger that was obtained from the Jinchuan campaigns of 1747-1749 and 1771-1776.
Paiwan tjakit logo

Paiwan tjakit with provenance

It was collected by Laurens Langewis, an early 20th-century ethnographer and author.
Studded Kham dagger logo

Fine Tibetan gem studded dagger

A very rare type of dagger that originates from the borderlands of Eastern Tibet and Sichuan.
Mongolian target quiver logo

Mongolian target quiver

Combining surplus Qing mounts with Mongol leatherwork.
Longquan logo

Lóngquán (龍泉)

A town in Zhejiang province, China, known as a sword making center.
Yunnan Dai dagger

A fine Yunnan Dai dagger

With characteristic bulb pommel and silver plating on hilt and scabbard.
Bagua logo

Bāguà (八卦) "Eight Trigrams"

Chinese meaning "Eight Trigrams", representing the fundamental principles of our world.
S-shaped Chinese spearhead

Wavy Chinese spearhead

Of a rarer form, often used for ceremonial pole-arms.
Asian arms in old European paintings logo

Asian arms in Dutch master paintings

Dutch masters' fascination with exotic Asian wares shown in a series of paintings.
Hudiedao with Tongsheng marking

Signed húdiédāo set

Of military style with long, narrow blades and ribbed hardwood grips.
Daoist shuangjian

Lóngquán Daoist shuāngjiàn

A very good set of Daoist straightswords in a single scabbard. There is a lot to see here, but I will start with the blades.
Kankyuto

Kankyûtô (貫級刀/貫首刀)

Japanese word for a samurai tool.