Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Left 57 cm

Right 57.6 cm

Blade length

Left 46.5 cm

Right 46.7 cm

Blade thickness

Left 17, 10.5, 4 mm

Right 17, 10.5, 4 mm

(Base, middle, 5cm from tip)

Blade width

Left 34, 22, 8.5 mm

Right 33.5, 22, 9 mm

(Base, middle, 5cm from tip)

Weight

Left 721 grams

Right 697 grams

Point of balance

Left 8 cm from guard

Right 7.8 cm from guard

Materials

Iron, steel, brass, hardwood

Origin

Southern China

Dating

Circa 1850-1875

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Introduction

Húdiédāo (蝴蝶刀), are a type of double swords that originated in or around the port cities of southern China. They are known in the local Cantonese dialect as bat jam do or "eight cutting knives". (八斬刀, pronounced bāzhǎndāo in Mandarin) The type seems to have emerged in the mid 19th century, as a merging of typical Chinese fighting knife blades with handles inspired by western naval sabers and entering knives. They typically have half-hilts that fit in a single scabbard side-by-side and can be drawn as if they were one weapon.

For more information, see my glossary article: Húdiédāo (蝴蝶刀).

 

This set

Another classic set of good quality Southern Chinese húdiédāo. Blades are of the narrow variety, starting wide and thick and then tapering to sharp points with long back bevels. My favorite geometry for these. The are forged folded with a straight wood grain, and have an inserted high-carbon edge. This can be brought out by polishing, might a future owner wish so.

It was put to use: The spine of the right sword shows several cuts from a blade, and there is some minor edge damage on both edges from contact.

Cuts in blade

 

Hilts are made of brass, with heavy brass knuckle bows. The grips are of precious hardwood, carved in deep relief to provide grip. The designs show four-petaled flowers and leaves within a frame of a geometric "rolling thunder" pattern called léi wén (雷文) in Chinese.

 

Condition

Very clean blade, some minor contact damage at the edge. A shrinkage split in one of the grips, but both hilts are tight. A solid set.

Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao
Slender set of 19th century military hudiedao

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