Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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drac2k 29th December 2017 09:09 PM

Chinese Gao Tiger Head Hook Swords
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The only thing better than one crescent hook sword is two.The swords were longer than I thought they would be, 39" long and the crescent 9".The swords show good wear, they are multi-piece constructed(not welded but riveted and not cut out of a single sheet of metal).
They could be 10 years, 50 years, or 100 years old.

Philip 30th December 2017 02:54 AM

The riveted assembly is what you want to see on these. Occasionally the struts and the crescents are tongue-and-groove forge welded, which is also good. You can tell the bogus ones by their gas or heli-arc welded joints :D

Re: age. Do the blades have a certain amount of rigidity, as you'd expect a fighting sword to be? (beware of something that is whippy like a fencing foil) Any signs of lamination in the steel?

drac2k 30th December 2017 05:12 AM

They are rigid and more substantial than I would have thought; especially in regards to the length.

Philip 30th December 2017 07:09 AM

Thanks, they look good overall. From all this, I would venture to say by their construction and sturdiness that they are probably pre-World War II vintage, perhaps turn of the last century, even. These were civilian weapons, and thus their use continued in various local martial arts traditions into a time when the techniques were still cultivated for combat value (even if only for street brawls between triad gangs) rather than the mostly sportive purposes pursued in more recent times. And yes, it's great to have a pair of them! So many have been separated over the years and only singles remain out of what were supposed to be sets.

drac2k 30th December 2017 01:34 PM

Many thanks for your valuable input! They were sold separately at auction; I got the first one and I almost let the second one get away, as I only thought I needed one example, then a voice in my head screamed "they are a pair," and at the last second I was able to win the other one

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