Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.
Very nice sword, Scott. Kham is, of course, a very large region, containing many smaller states, kingdoms or chiefdoms, including Derge, Nyarong, Batang, the Horpa states, etc. Most of Kham was never brought under the direct control of the Lhasa government in modern times, and a large part was under the administration of the Chinese government since the 1720s (and is outside the TAR). Among these areas there are variations in swords. This type, for instance, is quite different in its hilt and its typical scabbard type from swords of Derge. Rockhill attributed this type to Poyul, one of the southernmost kingdoms. This makes sense, as there is photographic evidence of this type being traded into Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Many of the pommels from this area are simple iron. The stacked-wire type pommel is almost certainly rarer and more interesting. An unusual feature is the gadrooned brass edging, which is typical of Bhutanese hilts and scabbards (called "khaser") and perhaps also suggests a southern origin. The condition is quite good; the leather grip, which is a characteristic feature, is intact. These are frequently lost by shrinkage and wear.