A solid Chinese Trident (叉)
The trident can be considered as one of the eighteen Chinese Wuhsu weapons. Early examples, like the one listed here, are often well forged and of good quality. They were locally used to disable an opponent without killing him, to protect agains wild animals such as tigers and as martial arts weapon, but also in rebellions and upraises during the Qing Dynasty.
China – 18th to 19th century
Materials: Steel, comes with hand made wooden stand.
The trident is used all over the world. As a weapon, a fishing tool or spiritual symbol. In China, the trident is included as one of the ‘Eighteen weapons of Wushu’ and called ‘叉’ (fork). The trident or fork was also known as tiger fork and was designed to defend against attacking tigers in village communities. The old examples were well made and consist of a diamond cross section central spike, accompanied by two crescent shaped spikes on both sides forged together. At the end of the shaft is a multi-faceted knob which is typical for Chinese and Vietnamese arms. Often this type is referred to ‘tiger fork’ (hǔchā, 虎叉), but these types seem to be of larger scale. From my point of view this example would suit well to defend yourself against a tiger, but based on its size I would prefer the term trident.
These polearms were mostly worn by security guards and used in teams during the Qing period, but were also used during rebellions and worn by local provincial inhabitants.
A well made example with a good overall patina.
Diameter shaft: 3cm
Length including stand: 72,4cm
Condition: Excellent, good conditioned steel.
Note: The trident comes with a self-made stand made of hardwood and steel.
Copyright Antiques by the Sea – 2020
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