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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.
Kankyuto logo

An Edo period kankyûtô

A double-edged samurai tool with morbid origins.
Kozuka

Kozuka (小柄)

Japanese name of a small utility knife worn in sword and dagger scabbards.
Nakago kozuka logo

Signed nakago kozuka

A by-knife for a Japanese sword, with a hilt shaped like a sword tang.
Chinese báitóng whip

Chinese báitóng whip

A Chinese traditional hidden striking weapon, this time executed in the "white copper" alloy.
A Chinese executioners sword logo

A Chinese headman's sword

Of rare form with short but very heavy double-edged blade.
Japanese uchidashi armor plate logo

Japanese steel plate

Worked in repousse, possibly once part of an ornamental piece of armor.
Long spear manufacture logo

Construction of the Qing dynasty long spear

From an 1812 text regarding the manufacture of Qing military equipment.
19th century Qing fangshi peidao logo

Qing fangshi soldier's saber

A rare surviving example of the simple military version of this style.
Burmese hilted wakizashi in Indian scabbard logo

Wakizashi in Burmese hilt

An unusual cross-cultural mix, blending Burmese, Japanese and Indian parts.
Mail coif

Kusari zukin (鎖頭巾)

Japanese name for the hood of a mail armor set.
Japanese mail jacket

Kusari katabira (鎖帷子)

Japanese name for a jacket of mail armor.
Mail logo

Kusari gusoku (鎖具足)

Japanese word for mail armor.
Japanese mail logo

Kusari (鎖)

Japanese word for "chain", also used to describe mail armor.
Japanese mail kusari zukin

Kusari katabira zukin

Japanese mail set, with small ring vest and coif sewn to a thick cotton undergarment.