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Old 18th October 2018, 03:43 PM   #1
sakimori
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Default photos from an temporary exhibition hosted in Arts&Crafts Museum of HangZhou,China

As described in the title,there was an exhibition took place in HangZhou which the exhibits were donated by many senior collectors over the country,which means it's a good opportunity to see&observe some really rare antique arms in person,so I got there,visited the exhibition and took some photos.Also since I've been seeing a lot of interesting stuff in this forum,I think it's better to share something in return...sadly,since all the photos were taken by my smartphone(didn't have chance to acquire any better equipment),quality of some pictures might be under the standard level,but i'll try to pick ones could be tolerated.
Meanwhile,there is another section of the Arts&Crafts Museum,named of Knives&Scissors&Sword Museum of China,which also have some impressive exhibits of antique arms,I will post the pictures taken from this part of museum along with ones of the temporary exhibition.
I've selected the most interesting exhibits(in my opinion) to post--ones with influence from other culture and ones with,uh,interesting looking.
And,well,the exhibition was hosted during October-November(I think) of 2017,though my thought was to post these pictures ASAP,but,uh,things happened....
Any way,I hope you can take pleasure in this thread&pardon me for my bad English.
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Old 18th October 2018, 04:21 PM   #2
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I'll star with this fancy-looking one from Japan(most likely).Museum and collectors who lend the sword note this one as a "tribute from Japan",but some other collectors I talked with generally think that is one questionable theory--as members of this forum might noticed,the sword itself is really in a different style,comparing with other sword in Japan.Some suggest the sword might was acquired from Korean or..aww,I can't remember the whole conclusion.This is so sad.I think one knowledgeble collector told me that he thinks this one might been heavily modified in China? Reply your thoughts if you'd like to.
Also there is one other thing I forgot to mention...since my English really isn't that good and typing like this is really not easy for me...I think I'll finish this thread in a week or two(hopefully),by posting reply in this thread.I hope this won't get any negative influence to...layouts? of the forum.Is it normal to reply one thread started by yourself once a day?If members or staffs of the forum have any suggestion,I would try my best to apply one.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:31 PM   #3
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Sakimori:

Welcome thank you for your post and sharing your experiences of that exhibition. Your English is fine! Replying to your own thread happens all the time, so keep on posting examples in this thread.

The sword you show does not look to be (totally) of Japanese manufacture. The scabbard looks entirely Chinese to me. I would say a Chinese made sword in imitation of a Japanese style. There are others here more knowledgeable about Japanese swords than I am. They will be able to give you a better reading of what this one is.

Ian.
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Old 19th October 2018, 12:35 AM   #4
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This is a very interesting sword, and the third I've seen with such a mounting mechanism displaying what appear to be dragon creatures.

It is in fact Korean and likely of the later Choson Dynasty.

All three I've seen are of court level manufacture and display a number of interesting characteristics indicating the quality of the sword.

First, of the three that I've seen, including this one, one had a Japanese blade.

As the Koreans borrowed a significant amount of specifically their sword aesthetic and decoration from Japan (though there was cross-pollination across the strait as well in both directions), the use of Japanese blades is not to be considered a non-Korean trait.

This blade I believe is Korean by the form and style and the fuller, which though found on Japanese swords does not end in the manner seen on this example near the tip of the blade. It is possible that the blade was ground down over time and the edge specifically, but I would bet this is Korean workmanship.

Second, the use of the rawhide style work on the handle in imitation of Japanese tsuka wrapping is also indicative of Korean work.

Third, the mounting mechanism is purely Korean but an interesting interpretation of the way that Japanese tachi are mounted with a purely Korean form of attachment through a spring along the spine of the scabbard that inserts itself into the crossguard.

A wonderful sword.

We sold one with a near identical mounting mechanism.

It can be seen below.

http://armsandantiques.com/exceptio...-wungeom-cs1051

We also have a number of articles on Korean swords as well describing their debt to Japanese workmanship but also the innovation in some of the decorative flourishes and aesthetics.

http://armsandantiques.com/3-joseon...a-19th-c-cc1252

http://armsandantiques.com/5-joseon...rca-1800-cc1254

http://armsandantiques.com/1-joseon...rca-1800-cc1250

Hopefully folks find these useful.

Regards
AAA
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Old 19th October 2018, 12:37 AM   #5
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Also if the original poster has more images, I'm sure I speak for at least more than a handful who'd be interested in seeing them.

The crossguards of these swords are always interesting since they often betray their Korean origin transmuted through what would traditionally be viewed as Japanese tsuba forms.

Regards
AAA
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Old 19th October 2018, 01:31 AM   #6
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I was in Hangzhou not quite 2 months ago.

Did not know that there exists a weapon museum in Hangzhou. In spring i will visit the girlfriend again and will go there for sure.
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Old 19th October 2018, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsAndAntiques
This is a very interesting sword, and the third I've seen with such a mounting mechanism displaying what appear to be dragon creatures.

It is in fact Korean and likely of the later Choson Dynasty.

All three I've seen are of court level manufacture and display a number of interesting characteristics indicating the quality of the sword.

First, of the three that I've seen, including this one, one had a Japanese blade.

As the Koreans borrowed a significant amount of specifically their sword aesthetic and decoration from Japan (though there was cross-pollination across the strait as well in both directions), the use of Japanese blades is not to be considered a non-Korean trait.

This blade I believe is Korean by the form and style and the fuller, which though found on Japanese swords does not end in the manner seen on this example near the tip of the blade. It is possible that the blade was ground down over time and the edge specifically, but I would bet this is Korean workmanship.

Second, the use of the rawhide style work on the handle in imitation of Japanese tsuka wrapping is also indicative of Korean work.

Third, the mounting mechanism is purely Korean but an interesting interpretation of the way that Japanese tachi are mounted with a purely Korean form of attachment through a spring along the spine of the scabbard that inserts itself into the crossguard.

A wonderful sword.

We sold one with a near identical mounting mechanism.

It can be seen below.

http://armsandantiques.com/exceptio...-wungeom-cs1051

We also have a number of articles on Korean swords as well describing their debt to Japanese workmanship but also the innovation in some of the decorative flourishes and aesthetics.

http://armsandantiques.com/3-joseon...a-19th-c-cc1252

http://armsandantiques.com/5-joseon...rca-1800-cc1254

http://armsandantiques.com/1-joseon...rca-1800-cc1250

Hopefully folks find these useful.

Regards
AAA

Thank you for your comment,AAA.Great opinion and important information,apparently.
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Old 19th October 2018, 10:29 AM   #8
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Another one,with significant features similar to swords in Japan.
I guess there really isn't much to say about this one,except you can fell the influence from other culture in first look.I think that is the exact reason make the sword valued.
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Old 19th October 2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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This sword was in the exhibition but was not unsheathed for reasons I don't know,but I happened to have the pictures of it and I decided to share them anyhow...I hope the owner won't blame me for post them without getting the permission--I ain't doing this for some sleazy cause after all(beside,he agreed to lend the sword to the museum and catalog of the exhibition might have more detailed photos anyway...)
Obviously this one is referring to hangers in the Europe and the pommel is very similar to ones in the SEA(mainly in the Philippine?)--Speaking of which,perhaps kindly members in the forum would introduce me some theory,essay or discussion about the whole face pommel thing?I don't think I've seen much face pommel in European samples(none,actually).Is this feature only gets common in the SEA?If so,is it developed from animal figured pommel of "cutachas"?
Though this might seems off the topic of the thread,I think it's better to finish this one before start another thread.For now,I'll have to beg your pardon and try to concentrate on the topic,to introduce all swords.
It would be great if you still willing to share your thoughts.
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Old 20th October 2018, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakimori
Another one,with significant features similar to swords in Japan.
I guess there really isn't much to say about this one,except you can fell the influence from other culture in first look.I think that is the exact reason make the sword valued.


The only things remotely Japanese-looking about this saber are the disc-shaped guard, and the blade with the facets and ridges on the sides. The blade form is encountered in Korea and Vietnam as well. Blades with these features were made in all these countries (the ridges and facets are also found on Eurasian saber blades from the Middle Ages and on some Mamluk and early Ottoman blades, but that is another story -- I mention it here only to show that these features, in and of themselves, are not a Japanese monopoly).

However, the hilt and scabbard are typically Chinese, specifically the style known as fangshi (angular pattern, from the cross-section of the grip and sheath), which was adopted by the Manchus for most of their regulation-pattern military sabers from the mid-17th cent onwards for about a century or more.
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Old 26th October 2018, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
The only things remotely Japanese-looking about this saber are the disc-shaped guard, and the blade with the facets and ridges on the sides. The blade form is encountered in Korea and Vietnam as well. Blades with these features were made in all these countries (the ridges and facets are also found on Eurasian saber blades from the Middle Ages and on some Mamluk and early Ottoman blades, but that is another story -- I mention it here only to show that these features, in and of themselves, are not a Japanese monopoly).

However, the hilt and scabbard are typically Chinese, specifically the style known as fangshi (angular pattern, from the cross-section of the grip and sheath), which was adopted by the Manchus for most of their regulation-pattern military sabers from the mid-17th cent onwards for about a century or more.

Philip,
I hope we can agree that blade is a important part of the blade.Compare to other Chinese swords in the similar period,you will get the idea:the sword is indeed is unique in it's own way.
Besides,Ming's Empire of China had imported a massive number of Japanese swords in it's trade with Japan,and Japanese swords is really popular back then.There was poet concentrate about swords from Japan,local craftwork try to copy the form of Japanese swords...
So in this specifically sample,Japanese influence,I belive.
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Old 26th October 2018, 05:29 PM   #12
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Another less-fancy one.This type of guard did not exist till Qing's Dynasty--inspiration from cutlass and sabers of Europe.
Long sword with European guard,like the sample,is not very common--in China,these guard appears in the hilt of long knives&daggers more often:Refers to "butterfly knives" or"paired knives"if two knives were crafted to hold in one sheath."Short knives" or else,if they were not.I'm sure you are familiar with this part.
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Old 26th October 2018, 05:29 PM   #13
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Agreed, the blade is the most important aspect of ANY sword.
And I'm quite aware of the so-called Kango commerce and the importation of thousands of Japanese blades to China (and other trade which resulted in as many such blades ending up in Thailand and Vietnam somewhat later.

The point I am trying to make is that some of the key design elements on the blade of that Chinese saber are not necessarily limited to the design of Japanese swords and are indeed found on the saber blades of other cultures with no real connection to Japan. For example, the facets and ridges (shinogi) on the sides of the blades are also seen on Mamluk and Ottoman sabers of the 15th-16th cent., these derived from the same features common on saber blades of the nomad peoples inhabiting a huge expanse of territory from Siberia to the plains of southeast Europe during the Middle Ages. The curvature of the blade is also reflected in many weapons from this same expanse of Eurasia.

China was in contact with these regions on its western and northern borders for centuries before Japanese blades were imported to Ming China. A comprehensive study of Chinese arms and martial culture during the archaic and medieval periods clearly show a closer connection between China and the empires to the west than to Japan. In terms of blade and hilt aesthetics on things like sabers and daggers, it remained the case even into the early-modern centuries, as with the Persian and Indian influences which became popular at the height of the Qing dynasty.
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Old 26th October 2018, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakimori
Another less-fancy one.This type of guard did not exist till Qing's Dynasty--inspiration from cutlass and sabers of Europe.
Long sword with European guard,like the sample,is not very common--in China,these guard appears in the hilt of long knives&daggers more often:Refers to "butterfly knives" or"paired knives"if two knives were crafted to hold in one sheath."Short knives" or else,if they were not.I'm sure you are familiar with this part.


Yes, the knucklebow on the guard of this saber is clearly a Western influence, probably from the cutlasses carried by sailors on foreign ships. You find this hybridization also on some important weapons from Southeast Asia. The guom carried by Vietnamese military mandarins is an example. Even more marked is the guard on the parang nabur used in North Borneo; the form is almost exactly like the knuckeguards on north European military and naval swords from the 18th cent. until the First World War. Many examples of both have been posted on various threads of this Forum so I won't bother putting any here.
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Old 27th October 2018, 05:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakimori
This sword was in the exhibition but was not unsheathed for reasons I don't know,but I happened to have the pictures of it and I decided to share them anyhow...I hope the owner won't blame me for post them without getting the permission--I ain't doing this for some sleazy cause after all(beside,he agreed to lend the sword to the museum and catalog of the exhibition might have more detailed photos anyway...)
Obviously this one is referring to hangers in the Europe and the pommel is very similar to ones in the SEA(mainly in the Philippine?)--Speaking of which,perhaps kindly members in the forum would introduce me some theory,essay or discussion about the whole face pommel thing?I don't think I've seen much face pommel in European samples(none,actually).Is this feature only gets common in the SEA?If so,is it developed from animal figured pommel of "cutachas"?
Though this might seems off the topic of the thread,I think it's better to finish this one before start another thread.For now,I'll have to beg your pardon and try to concentrate on the topic,to introduce all swords.
It would be great if you still willing to share your thoughts.


This sword displays British influence mid/late 1700's. The ball guard, pommel though a face and not a lion. The knuckle bow chain and blade fuller.
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Old 30th October 2018, 05:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Agreed, the blade is the most important aspect of ANY sword.
And I'm quite aware of the so-called Kango commerce and the importation of thousands of Japanese blades to China (and other trade which resulted in as many such blades ending up in Thailand and Vietnam somewhat later.

The point I am trying to make is that some of the key design elements on the blade of that Chinese saber are not necessarily limited to the design of Japanese swords and are indeed found on the saber blades of other cultures with no real connection to Japan. For example, the facets and ridges (shinogi) on the sides of the blades are also seen on Mamluk and Ottoman sabers of the 15th-16th cent., these derived from the same features common on saber blades of the nomad peoples inhabiting a huge expanse of territory from Siberia to the plains of southeast Europe during the Middle Ages. The curvature of the blade is also reflected in many weapons from this same expanse of Eurasia.

China was in contact with these regions on its western and northern borders for centuries before Japanese blades were imported to Ming China. A comprehensive study of Chinese arms and martial culture during the archaic and medieval periods clearly show a closer connection between China and the empires to the west than to Japan. In terms of blade and hilt aesthetics on things like sabers and daggers, it remained the case even into the early-modern centuries, as with the Persian and Indian influences which became popular at the height of the Qing dynasty.

Philip, I think I basically agree to what you said, though I might use a different expression while it's about details. Yes, in my views China in it's long history is more often accepting ideas and designs from western rather than "exporting" them, especially when it is about military and art(as far as I can understand), even sabers with curved blades didn't became really popular before regime from Mongolia takes over. But I didn't mean to suggest that saber is special because I think it's a milestone of how swords in China evolved, but it is a very unique and very "Japanese-like" sample in it's own period.
Also,I'm afraid swords and daggers with Persian and Indian influences you talked about were only popular inside the royal house due to the personal interest of Qianlong Emperor himself and more often regarded as dress swords or daggers. So.. I probably won't say they are "popular" since it is most likely a fashion of noble men. But again, I'm likely seemed very nit-picking and dyslexic? to you all at the moment, since I don't really speak English as a language after all... Still I appreciate you willing to reply this thread.
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Old 30th October 2018, 05:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
This sword displays British influence mid/late 1700's. The ball guard, pommel though a face and not a lion. The knuckle bow chain and blade fuller.

Yes Will you really reminded me of that style of swords. I was not thinking in the right direction, apparently. Thank you for your suggestion.
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Old 30th October 2018, 06:25 PM   #18
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A "straight sword" supposedly from north&west region of China's Ming dynasty, shows a clear and strong influence from Tibetan culture but yet being very unusual comparing to most of the swords from China and Tibet-- it was my first time to see something like it, anyway. The sword was considered to be one of the most precious exhibition among all, or something like that. It was shown in the advertisement at least.
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Old 7th November 2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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A saber with imported, German inscription blade. I forgot to take the photo of the whole sword for some reason, so I spent some time to find the category? album? of the exhibition, and took one from the publication.
I doubt if there's any inscription left to read...
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Old 7th November 2018, 11:42 AM   #20
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A restored sword from Yuan's dynasty. This kind of swords were mainly brought by regime from Mongolia. This exhibit strike me with it's rather inaccurate restore work...
Shamshir like, nomad influence, I'm sure a lot of members of the forum is familiar with this part, so I think I don't need to bother for any better restored example or antique. It's not a commonly found type, anyway.
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