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Old 7th November 2011, 03:54 PM   #1
katana
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Default Chinese Willow leaf Sabre

Just acquired a Willow Leaf sabre ....my first 'genuine' Chinese weapon. I want to thank Josh (Stout) for his advice, greatly appreciated .

Blade spine has distal taper 8mm at forte 1mm at tip
Blade width 42mm at forte to around 40mm near the tip.

Damaged and loose guard, the hilt/pommel is also slightly loose (a light peening would tighten it again ...but not enough to secure the guard ...leaves a gap of a few mm's )

All fittings iron/steel. Scabbard also appears to be original, wood core with a textured leather/rayskin with iron /steel fittings.

Ideas as to age, restoration advice and other comments greatly received, thank you

Kind Regards David
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Old 7th November 2011, 05:18 PM   #2
BerberDagger
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a nice boxer period dao . In my opinion in not necessary any restoration.
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Old 8th November 2011, 07:03 AM   #3
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nice late Qing dynasty dao. Nice as it is. And can consider polish to see the forging grain or insert steel if you like. But can be seeing nothing as modern steel was poular and fashionable in that period.
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Old 9th November 2011, 01:44 PM   #4
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Thankyou BerberDagger and Koto for your opinions ....appreciated .

Could you tell me how you know the approx. age of this sword ? is it the general design ? materials or overall condition ?

I wasn't thinking of a major restoration, just a mild improvement. I will probably (carefully) re-peen the tang to take up the looseness, and gently straighten the guard. I may etch the blade to see if there is anything 'interesting'.


Kind Regards David
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Old 10th November 2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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Hello Katana,
I have attached a photo below of a similar sword I have owned in the past. I thought you would enjoy seeing the period silk grip wrap and wrist lanyard on this piece. This is a common wrapping and lanyard treatment for this type of sword.

In regards to restoration I can tell you what I would do if it were in my collection. I would give all the metal portions of the sword and scabbard a good going over with a brass brush or brass wool to remove the easily accessed active red rust. Then I would rub these same area down with gun oil to help stabilize all the existing oxidation. For a similar separated guard I have I mixed shaved charcoal with epoxy and clamped it after light application and clean up. I was happy with the results, the charcoal keeps it looking antiquated in the seam. I would also take a slightly damp sponge and wipe down the scabbard where the ray skin covering is securely attached. Take it for what you will, that is what I would do if it were in my hands.

The age of Chinese swords can be a tricky question. Unfortunately there is little good evidence available to confidently nail down dates of many Chinese weapons. Although in this swords case it is widely spoken and accepted to be a late Qing army soldiers sword. Of coarse someone just saying it is only step one in the verification process. In my experience with these swords in particular I have seen more than one go up for sale as "bring back souvenirs" by European soldiers evolved in the Boxer Uprising of 1898-1901. I like this kind of secondary information to feel good about dating a piece to a specific era. It is certainly not an exact manufacture date, but I think it is in the ball park. I hope this information is useful.
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Old 10th November 2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
Hello Katana,
I have attached a photo below of a similar sword I have owned in the past. I thought you would enjoy seeing the period silk grip wrap and wrist lanyard on this piece. This is a common wrapping and lanyard treatment for this type of sword.

In regards to restoration I can tell you what I would do if it were in my collection. I would give all the metal portions of the sword and scabbard a good going over with a brass brush or brass wool to remove the easily accessed active red rust. Then I would rub these same area down with gun oil to help stabilize all the existing oxidation. For a similar separated guard I have I mixed shaved charcoal with epoxy and clamped it after light application and clean up. I was happy with the results, the charcoal keeps it looking antiquated in the seam. I would also take a slightly damp sponge and wipe down the scabbard where the ray skin covering is securely attached. Take it for what you will, that is what I would do if it were in my hands.

The age of Chinese swords can be a tricky question. Unfortunately there is little good evidence available to confidently nail down dates of many Chinese weapons. Although in this swords case it is widely spoken and accepted to be a late Qing army soldiers sword. Of coarse someone just saying it is only step one in the verification process. In my experience with these swords in particular I have seen more than one go up for sale as "bring back souvenirs" by European soldiers evolved in the Boxer Uprising of 1898-1901. I like this kind of secondary information to feel good about dating a piece to a specific era. It is certainly not an exact manufacture date, but I think it is in the ball park. I hope this information is useful.



Hi Neil,
thank you very much indeed, excellent information Now you have given me another 'head-ache' .....whether to re-wrap the hilt.

All the best
David
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