Chinese ‘Paidao’ sword

A Chinese 'paidao' sword, late Qing Dynasty, ca. 1850.

Details of this item

Price

-

Status

Sold

Region

East Asia (China, Korea, Japan)
(South China)

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Bronze, Brass, Wood.

Price

On Request

Status

Sold

Region

East Asia (China, Korea, Japan)

(South China)

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Bronze, Brass, Wood.

Description

A single Chinese ‘Paidao’ (牌刀) sword with carved wooden grip and bronze D-shaped guard. These side-arms were originally used within the Qing military, while holding a rattan shield and were mainly manufactured in Southern China. Often described as pirate swords or butterfly swords, but the ‘hudiedao’ and ‘paidao’ seems to be a notable weapon of the Chinese Qing military.
This ‘Paidao’ is a single version of the double knife Hudiedao’ and dates from around 1860. Besides the military, a large number of militias were also equipped with the ‘hudiedao‘ or so called ‘eight cutting knives‘. The knives were also highly appreciated by martial arts practitioners, who preferred the wide bladed types, due to their capability of handling and practice skills.
The hilt:
The bronze knucklebow seems to have a mixture of alloys to harden it and make it capable to ward off strikes. The handle is made of precious wood and decorated with typical Southern Chinese carved ‘rolling thunder’ cartouches within scenes of a magpie and  deer, which are considered auspicious symbols, surrounded in floral motifs and flower petals. The ferrule’s are made of brass and show a facetted pattern.
The blade:
The blade is rather thick, heavy and narrow instead of more common flat, wide bladed examples and is in excellent condition. A closer inspection of the blade shows that it is of high quality forged steel. It has a slightly rounded spine and is rather long and slim which makes it suitable for both thrusting and cutting.

Chinese ‘Paidao’ sword

Condition

Very good condition, traces of ware with old patination. Comes without scabbard.

Dimensions

Hilt length: 15.5cm
Blade length: 47.5cm
Blade spine thickness: 13mm
Total length: 59.8cm

Weight

882g.

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Provenance

Literature