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Old 20th August 2008, 09:51 PM   #1
Atlantia
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Default Dao for opinions please

Hi all,
Please have a look at my latest aquisition.
I've always wanted a big Dao, I really wanted a curved classic 'oxtail' (niu wei) Dao, but who am I to refuse fate.
So, here it is, I think this shape is military style?
Is it a 'Goose Quill' (yan mao) Dao?
The handle fittings and thick cord binding have been painted with some kind of black pitch at some stage, looks like long ago.
Opinions and any information please, I know nothing!
Date? Boxer?
Dimensions: 90cm (36") Weight 1500g (just under 3 1/2 lb)





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Old 21st August 2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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What you have is a Dao of the Boxer Rebellion period. It is not a military sword but rather a civilian one. They tend to be heavy, chopper type weapons because most of the civilian armed with this were not trained martial artist so they just needed something they could "swing" that if connected would cause damage.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is it a 'Goose Quill' (yan mao) Dao?
I think this is a Willow Leaf style, liu ye dao, the reason being the early start of the curve on the blade. On a yan mao dao the curve would start closer to the tip, around 6 inch or so from the tip, and the blade would be straight all the way to that point, on a liu ye dao the curve would start close to the forte, and continue for all the blades length. Also, I have the impression that yan mao dao are the more common blade earlier in Qing, around Qian Long time, for military blades.
Quote:
So, here it is, I think this shape is military style?

It is, and for some reason they often have this coating, could be lacquer? Also the scabbard, over the ray skin cover, and it's fittings. Protects of course and no give away gleam of metal? I have seen examples that been polished and etched showing trace of a nice pattern and differential heating.
Quote:
Date? Boxer?
Yes, late Qing, maybe as early as from mid 19th, but that's me guessing.


I happened to post at the same time as RSWORD, and didn't see your post first, but editing a comment now, I think it is military, most dao like this that I have seen has been said to be. But I have no regulations or books to support that, more like hear-say
And maybe that this style is common, and very often found, with this precise look, can speak for it being mass produced like a military dao would be? Otherwise the variety of looks and styles are great in Chinese dao, but this one comes up often.

Last edited by Klas Larsson : 21st August 2008 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys :-)
So do you both think the hideous cord binding is original?
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:30 AM   #5
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Found a link to Alfred Tans web-page with a very similar dao, and the comment that it's military, hope he don't mind me using it. I think he in turn has his information from Phil Tom, who have restored his Chinese swords on this page http://www.japanesesword.com/Images...ese/DaoJian.htm

Taking a second look, doesn't that dao in the link look more yan mao dao like, if you should think about what I said on the curve of the blade.... and with a tapper to the blade... and it seems to have a little more curve to the handle, no? Maybe a little earlier style, or for another army group? Ahh well , waiting for the real experts who can read army regulations manuals to fill in here

Last edited by Klas Larsson : 21st August 2008 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
So do you both think the hideous cord binding is original?
Probably not, its to thick and the way it's wrapped does not look right. I would have wrapped it in the style you see on Alfred Tans dao, or just wrapped around, with dark blue or green cord, that where used for the Blue and Green banners.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klas Larsson
Probably not, its to thick and the way it's wrapped does not look right. I would have wrapped it in the style you see on Alfred Tans dao, or just wrapped around, with dark blue or green cord, that where used for the Blue and Green banners.


Thank-you Klas. The sword you mention appears to be identical to mine (except in nicer condition).
And the hideous binding can go in the bin as soon as I can find the right replacements and an explanation of the binding technique! Any suggestions? ;-)
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:49 AM   #8
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There were threads on this at the old SFI Chinese sword forum, that are archived, good ones.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klas Larsson
There were threads on this at the old SFI Chinese sword forum, that are archived, good ones.


Sorry Klas, I'm fairly new to the forums, 'SFI Chinese sword forum'??
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:23 AM   #10
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You'll find it here http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=146 and then look for archived forums, after you registered you can search for threads on wrapping. My friend William Reinman contributed there and today he does Chinese sword wrapping for others. This is a great source for information, lots of good old threads!
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Old 22nd August 2008, 01:24 AM   #11
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Thanks Klas, done and posted, gonna trawl the old threads for info!

Klas & RSWORD.
As a last thought on the Boxer idea, I wonder if the handle bindings are boxer additions to a reused earlier Imperial army sword?

I gotta say, I'm quietly quite chuffed with it!
Reminds me of a chinldhood spent watching 'The Water Margin'.

:-)
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Old 22nd August 2008, 01:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Thanks Klas, done and posted, gonna trawl the old threads for info!

Klas & RSWORD.
As a last thought on the Boxer idea, I wonder if the handle bindings are boxer additions to a reused earlier Imperial army sword?

I gotta say, I'm quietly quite chuffed with it!
Reminds me of a chinldhood spent watching 'The Water Margin'.

:-)


Great film, along with "Seven Swords of Kung Fu."

I just finished watching "Come Drink With Me" and "Shaolin Intruders".
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Old 22nd August 2008, 03:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
I gotta say, I'm quietly quite chuffed with it!

:-)


"Chuffed?" Is that good?
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Old 22nd August 2008, 03:06 AM   #14
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Of course the Imperial soldiers are always the cannon fodder bad guys!
I love the old HK martial arts movies and tv shows.

Really itching to restore the Dao, not located any info on the wrapping yet, may even recut the blade.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 03:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
"Chuffed?" Is that good?


LOL! Do you not use that expression over there?
Yeah, it means pleased, happy with. God only knows what the origin is?

It seems to have been shortened over the years as people used to say 'chuffed to bits' to expresses happiness!
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Old 22nd August 2008, 11:47 AM   #16
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OK, found a wrapping guide (thanks to Klas), looks simple compared with Japanese swords so I'm confident about getting good results.

Anyone want to help with suggestions for finding appropriate cord?

Or with hints on polishing techniques?

Gene
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Old 22nd August 2008, 02:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
LOL! Do you not use that expression over there?
Yeah, it means pleased, happy with. God only knows what the origin is?

It seems to have been shortened over the years as people used to say 'chuffed to bits' to expresses happiness!


One of my favorites! (another being "manky/mankie" - pronounced like "hanky" - which as near as I can tell means nasty and/or stinky). No, we have hour own random terms over here, like "psyched" and "pumped."

PS: no idea about the dao, but the others' comments sound convincing. I only note that the fuller appears routed out, as you can see the wobble from the rotating bit.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 02:24 PM   #18
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Yeah, Manky is a class expression!
As you say, it means a bit nasty, can be applied to something smelly and dirty or more generally to something tatty and in general disrepair!
LOL, at the moment my Dao is a bit 'manky'!

Another fav of mine is 'Rank' meaning slightly foul or disgusting.
It always made me smile as I worked for the Rank Organisation for 7 years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
One of my favorites! (another being "manky/mankie" - pronounced like "hanky" - which as near as I can tell means nasty and/or stinky). No, we have hour own random terms over here, like "psyched" and "pumped."

PS: no idea about the dao, but the others' comments sound convincing. I only note that the fuller appears routed out, as you can see the wobble from the rotating bit.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 11:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
As a last thought on the Boxer idea, I wonder if the handle bindings are boxer additions to a reused earlier Imperial army sword?
This dao wrap would get you in trouble in an line up inspection in the army I think...

Looking for cord try shops who have sewing machines and other stuff for sewing, we have found some nice cord there, and both blue and green, and a nice waxed brown cord, that I like, very steady. I believe about 2-3 mm is a bit of standard for dao wrapping.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 11:21 PM   #20
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Here in the archived forums of SFI you can find loads of information on wrapping, and also a video on wrapping by friend of mine, William Reinman that is very instructional. He has developed his method since but this works well.

here http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...&threadid=47591

and more here
http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...2868#post742868
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Old 23rd August 2008, 12:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klas Larsson
Here in the archived forums of SFI you can find loads of information on wrapping, and also a video on wrapping by friend of mine, William Reinman that is very instructional. He has developed his method since but this works well.

here http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...&threadid=47591

and more here
http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...2868#post742868


Klas You are an absolute HERO!
You've just answered every question I had.
Thankyou so much for all your help.
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Old 25th August 2008, 02:52 PM   #22
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No, no, Dont thank me. It's my friend William Reinman, who has gone to great lengths to investigate traditional wrapping, I am just the messenger

He also learned polishing and has become good at it, so now he does renovating of Chinese swords on commission.
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Old 29th August 2008, 06:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klas Larsson
No, no, Dont thank me. It's my friend William Reinman, who has gone to great lengths to investigate traditional wrapping, I am just the messenger

He also learned polishing and has become good at it, so now he does renovating of Chinese swords on commission.



Lol, in this case you the hero as I couldn't even find the relevant threads over at the other site, even started the thread over there to enlist help. But you searched them out for me! YAY!

I've added pictures of the small edge cracks over there.... Should do it here to so you'll see one or the other.
So,

heres the small cracks, they are all towards the back end of the blade, christ only knows how they got there as they don't correspond to kinks or bends. They don't seem to be 'dangerous'...
Thoughts?



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