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Old 28th June 2015, 05:59 PM   #1
Peter Dekker
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Default Unusual Chinese sword

Hello guys, it's been a while!

I wanted to share with you guys a recent acquisition. It follows the format of regular Chinese hudiedao, with D-shaped knucklebrow and a hook at the back of the blade, and is also of roughly the same size.

The major departure from the standard design of such swords is the symmetrical, leaf-shaped, fully double edged blade on this one where a wedge-shaped single-edge blade is the norm. Other interesting differences from Chinese hudiedao include a slightly forward curving handle, chiseled decoration on the blade, and the hook being shaped like a little dragon head.

It is most likely of tribal origin, loosely based on equipment by the Han Chinese. That's pretty much everything I know about it, I haven't seen anything similar.

Perhaps the decoration could give away which culture produced it. Anyone?

(See pictures attached. In recent polish by Philip Tom, showing some of the laminations in the steel.)
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Old 28th June 2015, 06:02 PM   #2
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I think it's Filipino, Chinese influenced for sure .
What makes me think so is the banding at the forte and the decoration which strikes me as very Okir-like .
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Old 28th June 2015, 07:31 PM   #3
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I have had similar thoughts without seeing Rick's comment.
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Old 28th June 2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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I agree with the consensus! I think it is Filipino. The lamination is typical for there, the banding at the block type forte, and I think the quillon is a snake or naga versus a dragon. The grip and ferrule are even quite Filipino. I bet we can find some similar blades in prior posts with similar hilts.
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Old 28th June 2015, 08:37 PM   #5
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Yes definitely Filipino. A wonderful piece and a great addition to your collection. When you get tired of looking at it you can send it my way. If this were listed on a certain online auction it would most likely be described as a Civil War D-guard bowie.

Best,
Robert
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Old 28th June 2015, 08:53 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
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I'm curious what Philip said on this, he knows these weapons backward and forward
Whatever the case, its fascinating to see these hudeidao filtered into other cultures as a number of amazing examples Gav has shown over the years.
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Old 29th June 2015, 02:13 AM   #7
Timo Nieminen
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Reminds me of this one: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19754
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Old 29th June 2015, 03:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
Yeah, that's the one that came immediately to mind for me too .
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Old 29th June 2015, 07:53 AM   #9
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And here is one I have in my collection with a blade profile and chisel work (though a little more elaborate) that is somewhat similar to Peter's example, but with a medial ridge on both sides of the blade more like Spunjar's example shown in the link. Even though Spunjar's and my own example do not show any signs of Chinese influence they do show some similarity in overall style.
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Last edited by Robert; 29th June 2015 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 29th June 2015, 09:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing guys, very interesting! That horn handle is beautiful.

Although I'm not entirely convinced mine is filipino, it most certainly shows a strong relationship to these with the chiseled forte and the leaf shaped blade.

More Sinified aspects of mine is the straighter shape and the way it builds up width from the forte, giving it more of a Chinese "feel" to it. Compare that effect to, for example, these:



Chiseled engravings on blades, were also quite common (and often floral) in Vietnam.

All considering, we might assess it originated somewhere around the South China sea area, sharing shores with South China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Would you guys agree?
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Old 29th June 2015, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dekker
All considering, we might assess it originated somewhere around the South China sea area, sharing shores with South China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Would you guys agree?
Hello Peter,

sorry, no, I don't agree. It's in my opinion clearly a Luzon piece, the way how the guard is attached in up from the horn hilt, the carved ricasso at the blade and the lamination of the blade let me be very sure.

What told you Philip Tom about this piece?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 29th June 2015, 10:44 AM   #12
Timo Nieminen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dekker
All considering, we might assess it originated somewhere around the South China sea area, sharing shores with South China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Would you guys agree?
The blade looks very Philippines, and not Chinese at all. The hilt looks Chinese to me.

Here is a photo of a sword I thought looked quite Chinese. The grip has a similar shape to yours (though the guard differs). It came with a bunch of Indonesian blades, and might be Indonesian like its box-mates.
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Old 29th June 2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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Like most so far, I vote Philippines.
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Old 29th June 2015, 04:38 PM   #14
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Philippines, with Spanish colonial influence (the quillon with the snake similar to those found on espadas)-
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Old 30th June 2015, 06:58 AM   #15
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Thanks guys!

Sajen, I see what you mean with the Luzon attribution. In internet search came up with quite a few of them with such a long brass ferrule. I couldn't find any with a complete straight and symmetrical blade like mine. Is this more unusual in this sphere?

Mine seems more Chinese-influenced than most I'm coming across, but you guys have convinced me it's probably made elsewhere.

Philip pointed out how the quillon on the back is too close to the blade for Chinese standards. In China they were used to flip the blade around so they could strike with the handle. I thought perhaps this was because you don't want to flip a double edged blade, because the back edge will then be next to your forearm. But I see many filipino blades that have the same, a thin quillon pretty close to the blade.

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by Peter Dekker; 30th June 2015 at 07:19 AM.
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