Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 14th July 2015, 03:22 AM   #1
driftwould
Member
 
driftwould's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Currently, Taiwan. Previously China for 6 years. Speak and read 中文 well.
Posts: 34
Question Taiwanese Aboriginal Blades (need opinions before purchase)

Hi all! I visited the Taipei Weekend Jade Market two days ago and found these for sale at a small stand. From what I've seen on the boards, they look legitimate. However, I'm no expert and would like to get your informed opinions before going back to buy them this coming weekend. The merchant let me take these photos, please tell me your thoughts! He's asking 6000 NTD for the small one and 9000 NTD for the big one (roughly $200 and $300 USD, respectively) as an opening price. For me, this is a significant amount of money, but if these are legitimate, they're also something I've been wanting to get for several years.

I have a few more pictures, but these are the bulk of them.

Thanks in advance!
Attached Images
            
driftwould is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th July 2015, 04:05 AM   #2
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,195
Default

Driftwould:

We don't discuss prices on this forum, so we cannot comment here whether the prices you were quoted are reasonable. You could contact a forum member via email or PM if you want to discuss costs.

The two knives you show appear to have some age judging from the blade patinas and the wear on the wooden hilts. However, the scabbards may not have started out with these knives. In particular, the lighter scabbard looks as though it was made for a more curved blade--also, this scabbard was probably made by the Atayal people while the knife hilt resembles the Paiwan style.

The second scabbard appears to be Paiwan and the knife could be Paiwan although the hilt is so degraded it is hard to say which tribe that knife comes from (but probably not from the Atayal whose hilts are usually plain and straight).

There is information elsewhere on this site about Taiwanese knives and you can find discussion of the various tribal characteristics using the search function.

Do you have any more information from the vendor as to the possible ages or origins of these knives? How large are they?

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th July 2015, 06:05 AM   #3
driftwould
Member
 
driftwould's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Currently, Taiwan. Previously China for 6 years. Speak and read 中文 well.
Posts: 34
Default

Hi Ian! Thanks for the response.

First, my apologies, I guess I missed or forgotten about the no price thing, it's been a while since I've been on here.

I've read a lot on the website about Taiwanese knives, and while I haven't reviewed it recently, it was enough to make me think these might be originals (having lived in China for a long time, I'm deeply suspicious of very convincing knock-offs, even though Taiwan is usually very different from that!).

Your comment about the knife not matching the scabbard was very helpful, it seemed obvious once you pointed it out but as a pretty rank amateur that's the kind of thing I'm likely to miss. As for the state of preservation, I'm not sure what to expect to be available in the first place. They're obviously old and degraded, but as to how that compares with what else is or isn't out there I really don't know. Also, I'm not sure how to tell how old they just might be - except for what's been written elsewhere in the forum - and then I'd doubt my own dubious "expertise." That's actually the main reason I was posting about prices, was just to get a feel of where these knives fall on the scale of what's out there.

So... any other observations or comments would be quite appreciated, and thanks again!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Driftwould:

We don't discuss prices on this forum, so we cannot comment here whether the prices you were quoted are reasonable. You could contact a forum member via email or PM if you want to discuss costs.

The two knives you show appear to have some age judging from the blade patinas and the wear on the wooden hilts. However, the scabbards may not have started out with these knives. In particular, the lighter scabbard looks as though it was made for a more curved blade--also, this scabbard was probably made by the Atayal people while the knife hilt resembles the Paiwan style.

The second scabbard appears to be Paiwan and the knife could be Paiwan although the hilt is so degraded it is hard to say which tribe that knife comes from (but probably not from the Atayal whose hilts are usually plain and straight).

There is information elsewhere on this site about Taiwanese knives and you can find discussion of the various tribal characteristics using the search function.

Do you have any more information from the vendor as to the possible ages or origins of these knives? How large are they?

Ian.
driftwould is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th July 2015, 10:38 PM   #4
DaveA
Member
 
DaveA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California.
Posts: 403
Default Aboriginal Taiwan Swords

Driftwood,

To my eye, these are age appropriate. The designs of ancestor figures and the representation of the paipushe snake are typical of the Paiwan. You can compare these renderings with others kept in museums and I believe you will find a strong match. Not proof of authenticity, but certainly proof of careful workmanship.

One must remember that the island tribes have been substantially affected in the last 100 plus years by the arrival of large numbers of Han immigrants from China and also by the long Japanese administration. Intermarriage, relocation, and other social mingling has occurred. As a consequence, the distinctiveness of the aboriginal tribes has diminished. Nevertheless, traditions carry on.

It would be my guess that pre-Japanese artifacts from individual tribes such as the Paiwan (Baiwan) are scarce and there is scant chance of such items appearing at a local market. but it could happen!

These do not look at all like mainland Chinese replicas. Pictures are seldom sufficient so you must judge the quality of the steel and the rest with your own senses. What I do know is I that you already have a story and also a that you are unlikely to find these weapons outside Taiwan. If you don't buy them, you will think about it for years. Finally, should you buy them and then decide you'd prefer the cash, I have little doubt that you could pass them on to another collector.

B/r
Dave A.
DaveA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th July 2015, 06:08 PM   #5
varta
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Berlin-Paris
Posts: 37
Default

I would not go for any of them.
They do not look good, shoddy workman shift, possibly not authentic (kitchen knife blade made up rusty and recent sculpture aged for the sheath)
You can't expect to pay a real Paiwan knife less than a certain amount, and believe me, swords are expensive in Taiwan; they are scarce.
It might be easier to find one in the USA. Anyhow, I am sorry to say your budget is not enough.
Just go to Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, to the Ethnology Institute of the University, go to Museums in Taiwan and enjoy the best quality. One day, you might be able to find and purchase a good sword.
varta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th July 2015, 08:58 AM   #6
yuanzhumin
Member
 
yuanzhumin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ex-Taipei, Taiwan, now in Shanghai, China
Posts: 180
Default Taiwan aboriginal blades

Hello Dave,

I do agree with Bernard that these are not good items.

1- He is right when he says that there is a certain price to pay for Taiwanese knives. When authentic, average ones would be from 1000 USD (30000 TWD) to 5000 USD, the exceptional ones being able to reach 10000 USD, depending on the quality, age, provenance, tribe and rarity.

2-The one you are showing here are bad models made in the 50-60s for American troops stationed in the island. They are tourist items made 50-60 years ago that have been in addition bathed/dipped into a acid product to give them this "old/used" look. Believe me the authentic old ones are in better shape!

3-I would advise you if you really want one of these to follow the international auctions, some are popping up sometimes, but not cheap. or you can buy a new one, recently made by a taiwanese aborigine art craftsman/artisans. They are beautiful and cheap! Some of these knives have been discussed on this forum and some fellow collectors on this forum have bought some!

All the best,

Nicolas
yuanzhumin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.