Kuiwen shuang duanjian set
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 63 cm

Sword A 57.2 cm

Sword B 57.7 cm

Blade length

A 43.5 cm

B 44.1 cm

Blade thickness

Sword A

Base 4 mm
Middle 4 mm
5 cm from tip 3.5 mm

Sword B

Base 4 mm
Middle 4 mm
5 cm from tip 3 mm

Blade width

Sword A

Base 34 mm
Middle 32 mm
5 cm from tip 24.5 mm

Sword B

Base 34.5 mm
Middle 32 mm
5 cm from tip 25 mm

Weight

Sheathed 1032 grams

A 381 grams

B 389 grams

Point of balance

A 9.7 cm

B 9.6 cm

Materials

Iron, steel, wood, ray-kin, brass, buffalo horn, cotton, glass

Origin

Southern China

Dating

Mid 19th century

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Description

A classic set of double shortswords. Such swords are relatively common on the market, but the majority are of fairly low quality and usually in poor condition. Once every while I see a set that I think is worth having, and here I present one such set.

The blades with a center ridge on both sides and a secondary edge bevel. The tips are triangular, so-called "male points". Blades are left in their original finish with the faint diagonal scratches that are typical for these. Some staining to the steel. Both edges with chips from contact, possibly with another blade.

The hilts are built around two nice pieces of carved buffalo horn, polished to a high gloss to reveal their attractive grain. The guards are of the Tāotiè (饕餮) form with a stylized monster without a lower jaw.

Pommel and ferrule are in the kuíwén (夔紋) style decoration consisting of archaic kuī-dragon patterns. Such patterns were inspired by those seen on very early Chinese bronzes which were prized collectibles among the Chinese elite.

The scabbard is covered in fine ray skin with black lacquer, polished smooth to show the grain of the skin. The work is skillfully done with a single seam on the bottom side.

It is mounted in a full set of five heavy brass kuíwén style mounts. The larger suspension mount has a shield with a rain dragon, or chīlóng (螭龍), recognizable by its salamander-like appearance and bifurcated tail. The smaller suspension mount has a cartouche with the words Lóngquán (龍泉) in seal script, referring to the famous sword-making town in Zhejiang province. I believe the set is most likely made in Guangzhou (Canton), and the referral is purely symbolic.

The scabbard carries two tassels, possibly a later addition but definitely old and made in China and of natural fibers and with glass beads.

 

Dating

Shortswords in this style were produced in Guangzhou (Canton) from at least the 1840s to 1880s, possibly longer. This set probably dates from around the mid 19th century.

 

Condition

Good condition throughout. Almost no losses to the ray-skin. Some damage and minor staining to blades. Tassels are in fragile condition. Both grips are tight, with some minor play in the hilt mounts. See photos for a complete view of the condition.

Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard
Chinese double shortswords with ray skin covered scabbard

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me
Currently available:

Unusual piece with depiction of a foreign figure.

€350,-

With wootz blade, Marwari style hilt, and its original red velvet scabbard.

€2700,-

Blade of Persian shamshir form, but of Indian make. Mounts in Kutch style gilt copper.

€5200,-

A fine Marwari talwar presented to the Dewan (chief minister) of Bikaner in 1756 A.D.

Price on request

With wootz blade inlaid in gold with the name of the maker and the owner.

€2600,-

A remarkable example of bladesmithing with a 5 row twist-core pattern that meanders over the blade.

€2300,-