Thread: Nomadic swords
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Old 20th October 2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 615
Default the tunkou concept, carried forward

'Thought you might like to compare the tunkou (sleeve at the forte of the blade) on your Qipchaq saber with a couple examples from later in history. The concept had a long shelf-life. The upper image is a saber blade, probably Seljuk, ca 1200 (image and historical identification from Haase, et al, Oriental Splendour: Islamic Art from German Pvt. Collections, 1993.) The lower one is an early 18th cent. Qing liuyedao (willow leaf saber) formerly in my collection. As on your blade, the tunkou on both examples is fashioned from iron sheet and is a friction-fit onto the blade. On other examples from the Mamluk/Ottoman sphere, and Ming/Qing China, it is chiseled in relief from the steel of the blade and there serves more as a decorative motif, but that is another topic for discussion.
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