A pattern welded Tibetan/Chinese trousse
Trousse’s or eating sets were commonly used by the Chinese, especially the Manchu since the 18th century. During the reign of emperor Qianlong (1735-1796) the Manchu were forbiden to eat pre-cut meat because of the strict Manchu tradition of eating in the rough outdoors. Being able to cut flesh from straight from the animal was considered an important tradition. During the late 18th and 19th century many people wore eating sets of a wide variety in quality.
China, Tibetan/Sichuan border region – 19th century or older
Materials: Buffaloo Horn, Steel, Brass, Ivory (Elephas Maximus), Paktong, Silk, Coral (Non-CITES)
A very fine example of a Chinese trousse or eating set containing a very well made knife, ivory chopsticks and a paktong case. The eating sets were commonly worn by the Chinese and vary in quality.
This example has a knife with very well made pattern welded blade. The handle is made of buffaloo horn. The handle consists of two horn slabs revited together and decorated with a brass wired lucky coin symbol. The pommel is made of three layers of horn in different colours which are limpid when held into light. The blade shows a fine birdeye pattern and had a hardened cutting edge and spine. The old patinated ivory chopsticks are square in form and fit in the scabbard. The scabbard is made of Paktong (Berlin Silver) and is hand engraved with circles filled with foliage. On one of the suspension rings hangs a small silk cord with a symbolic endless knot with two plumes and a coral bead.
Pattern welded blade:
Pattern welding is an old technique and known as true craftmanship of the maker. A bundle of steel is braided and then accompanied with steel sides, forged together to make it one single blade.
Condition: Very good, some slight traces of ware due to age and use.
Handle: 10.5 cm
Blade: 16.2 cm
Chopsticks: 26.4 cm
Scabbard: 18.7 cm
Total length: 27.6 cm
This item contains antique ivory, please advice import regulations in your country.
Copyright by Peter Andeweg – 2020
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