Chinese sword guard | Mandarin Mansion

Chinese sword guard

Height & width: 72 x 67mm
Thickness: 6.5mm
Weight: 100 grams

Origin: Chinese for the Chinese market. Adjusted for Japanese use.
Materials: Iron, gold, copper.
Proposed dating: Late 17th to early 18th century.
Use: Has been mounted.

Presented here is a purely Chinese saber guard dating from roughly 1650-1740. It is a simplified and more down to earth version of the typical highly complex Sino-Tibetan work that was so popular in the early Qing court, featuring two dragons chasing a pearl or jewel in scrollwork.

Imperial guardsmen and princes frequently acted as interim commanders on the battlefields of the Qing, which often caused a trickle down effect among the officers and soldiers they temporarily visited. Such fashions were then copied, albeit more crudely.

We can be sure it was Chinese, for the Chinese market because the tang is cut in a way that the blade is aligned downward in relation to the depiction of the dragons. This is the standard method for Chinese swords, whereas the Japanese sword -apart from the large tachi is customarily worn with the edge up. Yet, it still made its way to Japanese hands where a craftsmen cut away part of the scrollwork to make way for the Japanese kogai and kozuka, a pin and knife typically carried in the scabbard next to the sword, their handles protruding through the guard.

Comes with depicted hand made wooden box for storage and display.

A rare example of a purely Chinese openwork guard in the Sino-Tibetan style that was so popular in the early Qing.

€ 250,-

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