A Vietnamese Officers Guom
With the colonizing by the French in 1802, the European influence on Vietnamese weapons slowly began in governmental weaponry. The D-shaped guards and lion head pommels were introduced during the beginning of the 19th century referring to the European sabres. Ceremonial sabres came in different form, mostly as an indicator of rank or status.
Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty – 19th century
Materials: Steel, Hardwood,Gilded brass,Copper,Silver, Akar Bahar (non CITES)
Most Vietnamese ‘Guom‘ are purely manufactured for ceremonial use, but there are also some examples made worth fighting, such as the example listed here.
With a thick well made blade in European influence, worn by an officer as status symbol, but very suitable for defense when needed.
Of French influenced form. The D-shaped guard and a Vietnamese interpretation of a lion head pommel made of silver. The hilt was made of ‘Akar Bahar’ ,better known as ‘sea root coral‘ and shows an elegant design of prunus blossom with an integrated thumb rest. The ferrule and pommel are made of thin sheet silver and are attached to the gilded brass knuckle bow.
In European manner, sharpened and slightly curved as a proper sabre. With a fuller in the center from the forte towards the false edged tip. The upper section of the blade has a single fuller on both sides running into two smaller fullers which end near the tip. The forte was originally covered with a thin brass ferrule which has been lost in time.
Made of two sheets of hardwood, held together with three gilded brass fittings. The scabbard mouthpiece and center piece have a red copper alloy ring and a small hole to attach a rope or suspension-cord. The chape is curved with a rounded finial which has a copper center.
A fine officers ‘guom’. Well executed silver and brass fittings and a rare type of hilt. Status symbol for an officer, but very functional. A good example of the quality which was used during the Nguyen Dynasty with an interesting cross-cultural influence.
Condition: Very good, minor movement on the guard due to the absence of the ferrule. Some ware on the gilded fittings consummate to age and use. One suspension ring on the locket is missing. Further a good well preserved blade.
Blade length: 66.4cm
Blade spine thickness: 5mm
Total length: 86cm
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