Qing officer’s Peidao

Qing military officers saber (Peidao), Mid 19th century - China

Details of this item

Price

 4.500

Status

Available

Region

East Asia (China, Korea, Japan)
(North-China, Qing Dynasty (1668-1912))

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Brass, Wood, Ray-skin (non-CITES), Fabric

Price

 4.500

Status

Available

Region

East Asia (China, Korea, Japan)

(North-China, Qing Dynasty (1668-1912))

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Brass, Wood, Ray-skin (non-CITES), Fabric

Description

The ‘peidao’ 佩刀 is a Chinese waist saber which was worn mostly during the Qing Dynasty. Examples in this style were made for the standard Green Army as munition grade, but also ordered by officers. Officer sabers are generally of higher quality featuring aesthetically pleasing and fashionable details such as openwork fittings, shagreen or lacquered scabbards and most importantly, well made blades. The fittings are made in the traditional rounded ‘yuanshi’ style.

The hilt:
Made of a wooden handle with partially pierced brass mounts. The pommel shows a chiseled decoration of dragons and a stylized lotus petal motif on top. The rounded guard shows a chiseled pattern of two dragons chasing a flaming pearl on the back and facing the blade it shows an engraved jardin of foliage. The hilt was re-wrapped in silk cord by Peter Dekker of Mandarin Mansion and is customary done in the traditional manner.

The blade:
In Chinese known as the ‘liuyedao’ which means ‘willow leaf’ a distinguishable form used on Chinese military swords. It has a curved, single edged blade with a flat spine narrowing towards the tip. Both sides feature a long single fuller accompanied by a five segmented second fuller which is framed by a narrow groove. The forte is decorated on both sides with an engraved dragon which is chasing a pearl. An auspicious subject which has its origin in ancient Chinese folklore.

The scabbard:
Made of two slabs of wood, covered in green dyed rayskin. Furnished with pierced brass fittings depicting dragons. Most of these fittings were once gilded, but in this case, they show a wonderful patina which I left intact. The scabbard mouthpiece was broken on one side long ago. The mid section shows two fittings held together by a suspension bar which was also decorated in the same manner.

Qing officer’s Peidao

Condition

Good condition, original shagreen and fittings. Handle wrapping was professionally restored and the blade has some nicks, which seem to be traces of actual use.

Dimensions

Hilt length: 15.8cm

Blade length: 68.1cm

Blade spine thickness: 6mm

Scabbard length: 69cm

Total length: 85cm

Weight

790g.

Comparable items

Provenance

United Kingdom collection

Literature