Qing officer's Peidao
Period: Qing Dynasty (1668-1912), Mid 19th century.
Materials: Steel, Iron, Brass, Wood, Ray-skin (non-CITES), Fabric
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hilt length: 15.8cm
Blade length: 68.1cm
Blade spine thickness: 6mm
Scabbard length: 69cm
Total length: 85cm
Provenance: UK collection
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