Search found 153 matches

by Philip Tom
Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:16 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: A question of blade tangs and dating
Replies: 3
Views: 4771

Re: A question of blade tangs and dating

There are general benchmarks and "rules of thumb" to go by but no one factor that will pin down a date of manufacture to, say, a quarter-century. Some factors to consider: 1. Patina (old corrosion and oxidation) on the tang. An older blade tends to have more and deeper rusting on the tang. When bran...
by Philip Tom
Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:49 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: A question of fullers
Replies: 10
Views: 10583

holes in the backs of blades

Hi, Gav The yanyuedao in the pic looks to be a magnificent example. From the way it's appointed (the ornate treatment of the ferrule and "guard", and the seven stars inlays on the blade) I'd say that this example might be more ceremonial than utilitarian even though the blade may be fairly stout. If...
by Philip Tom
Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:48 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Iron Chinese Helmet
Replies: 24
Views: 22865

Iron helmet with engraved / gilt trim

Linda, Peter True, Qing iron helmets with engraved decoration are not common, but you might want to compare with an early Qing example now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc # 1997.18, purchase, Bashford Dean Memorial Collection). The visor, browplate, and baogai are gilt and engraved with Buddh...
by Philip Tom
Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:39 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Iron Chinese Helmet
Replies: 24
Views: 22865

restoring helmet

Hi, Linda Sorry I've been away from the forum a bit, am catching up on things. Congratulations on the helmet, it is a very nice find! What is the gauge of the iron plate forming the shell? From the shape of the baogai (the dome shaped top piece that the plumeholder fits into) this is probably a patt...
by Philip Tom
Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:27 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Ming jian
Replies: 7
Views: 8773

tang

I was not asked by Josh to remove the hilt when I did the polish.
by Philip Tom
Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:25 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Copies of Ming Dynasty Jian Fittings
Replies: 4
Views: 7316

style of repro fittings

The dragons may be rendered in Ming style, but the overall format of the hardware is Qing. There are three works of art in the Metro. Mus. of Art which depict the "classic" Ming style of jian hilts, with flaring, wing-like guards, and pommels which are larger than the Qing style and which are perfor...
by Philip Tom
Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:59 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: A question of fullers
Replies: 10
Views: 10583

Re: A question of fullers

There is considerable variety in fullering design on Chinese blades. I've commented before on some interesting designs influenced by India and Middle Eastern cultures. As to your question on asymmetrical fullering (each side of the blade being different), I have seen examples in which this is the ca...
by Philip Tom
Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:17 pm
Forum: Test Cutting for Historical Swordsmanship
Topic: Edge Sharpness Vs. Application
Replies: 21
Views: 75627

historical perspective

The use of jian in a military context faded away during the Ming Dynasty. This weapon was supplanted by single-edged weapons (dao), in various configurations so that by the mid-18th cent., jian were not listed in the Qing regulations governing standard patterns of hilt weapons. Furthermore, the use ...
by Philip Tom
Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:58 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Using Stingray Skin for Scabbard
Replies: 6
Views: 7462

comments on ray skins

Some info on the subject FYI 1. Other scabbard coverings were used on high quality jian during the Qing. They include lacquer, leather, cloisonne metal sleeves, etc. Scabbards were of course also made of rosewood, although modern sword connoisseurs should be aware that hardwoods are prone to damagin...
by Philip Tom
Wed May 06, 2009 12:56 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Springy swords vs. Rigid swords
Replies: 30
Views: 39073

characteristics of antique blades

It's hazardous to generalize about the characteristics (edge hardness, resiliency, etc) of steels used in antique blades of any culture or period. Simply because in a pre-industrial age, the materials used varied in their characteristics, since there tended to be a multitude of relatively small loca...
by Philip Tom
Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:39 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Regulation Qing Dao
Replies: 2
Views: 4402

lacquered fittings

I've seen these on occasion as well, usually in partial state of preservation since when rust does begin (in areas where the surface is chipped or abraded to bare metal) it can spread under the lacquer or paint and hasten its peeling or flaking. I agree with Mr. Dennee, rust prevention and glare sup...
by Philip Tom
Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:04 pm
Forum: Sword Care & Maintenance
Topic: help with dismantling when epoxy was applied...
Replies: 5
Views: 9501

Re: help with dismantling when epoxy was applied...

Epoxy adhesives (commonly available as a dual combo of adhesive and hardening agent that are mixed in equal quantities) typically release (un-bond) at just above 200 degrees F. Gentle heating of the metal parts with a torch, or immersion of the hilt for a period in boiling water, are useful remedies...
by Philip Tom
Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:30 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: recommended for your library
Replies: 6
Views: 6257

in and out of fashion

Josh, you are correct in saying societies often change their perception of what is normative, desirable, or acceptable over time. Contrast the earthiness of Elizabethan England which extended even up into "high" society with the carefully-cultivated propriety and prudishness of the Victorian age. Al...
by Philip Tom
Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:29 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: recommended for your library
Replies: 6
Views: 6257

Quite the sportsman, he was

Peter, Confucius, in our modern eyes, might appear to have been an Uncle Fudd, but read his Analects (Lun Yu) and he apparently was, like many in his social class, a lover of competitive and outdoor sports. He muses at one point at whether he should devote more effort to archery or chariot-driving. ...
by Philip Tom
Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:18 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: What's the difference between spears and lances?
Replies: 6
Views: 11006

is the "shouqiang" a javelin?

Peter raises an interesting point. I haven't found any reference to significant use of throwing-spears or javelins in Chinese military practice; if other readers can provide evidence either from period texts or depictions in art, please post the info. I would explain this supposed dearth of spear-th...