Search found 153 matches

by Philip Tom
Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:28 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Crossguards
Replies: 16
Views: 18058

early disc guard use

Anything's possible, I don't rule out the pan hushou appearing in one form or another before the Ming. After all, at least one of the Eurasian saber blades (10th-12th cent.) excavated in Western Siberia [see Yu. S. Khudaykov, VOORUZHENIYE YENISEYSKIKH KYRGYZOV, which you have a copy of) has an oval ...
by Philip Tom
Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:44 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Tibetan sword terminology
Replies: 17
Views: 37825

multi use

Waddell's observation on the bluntness of Tibetan swords may be based on what another visitor observed (unfortunately, the name and reference escapes me) who said that Tibetan nomads used their swords or long knives for a multitude of purposes, including digging in the ground, as circumstances requi...
by Philip Tom
Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:40 am
Forum: Chinese Swordsmanship
Topic: Is there a difference, in free-play, between jian and dao?
Replies: 21
Views: 24605

"ideal fit" parameters

In my experience over many years involving examination and restoration of many hundreds if not thousands of antique jian and dao, some patterns can be discerned in the population of historical weapons still in existence. Here are some random thoughts for readers to pick up on and apply to their part...
by Philip Tom
Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:43 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Tibetan sword terminology
Replies: 17
Views: 37825

sabers in Tibet

True, curved blades are not common in a Tibetan context, and it seems that the lion's share of those few that are seen appear to be imported. The couple of examples in Mr. LaRocca's catalog fall within these parameters. I have in my collection a saber which from all indications is of Tibetan workman...
by Philip Tom
Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:46 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Tibetan sword terminology
Replies: 17
Views: 37825

Tibetan sword terminology

On the "Crossguards" thread, mention was made of Tibetan swords, using the term "ke tri" which has been featured in an article on a noted ethnographic arms forum. While not disparaging the author's efforts, I would like to mention that Donald LaRocca, curator of arms and armor at the Met, advised me...
by Philip Tom
Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:34 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Crossguards
Replies: 16
Views: 18058

Thanks, Josh, for your analysis and cross-references. You mentioned Tibetan swords, and used a term which I think should be corrected based on subsequent research and publication. Since Tibetan swords per se are not germane to this thread, I am placing the remarks in a new one.
by Philip Tom
Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:54 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Crossguards
Replies: 16
Views: 18058

guard design -- not a static concept

When referring to a particularly Chinese approach to the role of the guard in hand protection, let's be mindful of the fact that the design of hilts underwent radical shifts over time, no doubt inspired by changes in fighting styles. Dao and jian of classical antiquity had very small guards offering...
by Philip Tom
Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:39 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Crossguards
Replies: 16
Views: 18058

too much of a good thing?

One could argue that when anything beneficial is overdone, it can turn out to be a bother. "Moderation in all things", as Confucius and the classical Greco-Roman philosophers counseled. However, we do see a great difference in emphasis on the amount of protection afforded by hand guards in the sword...
by Philip Tom
Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:38 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: WW2 Da Dao
Replies: 18
Views: 20769

Most firearms manufacturers have been identified, there's a book titled ARMING THE DRAGON (I don't have author/publisher info, it's a pretty basic paperbound thing sometimes sold at gun shows), but swords are not covered. Considering that the blades themselves seldom have any markings at all (and wh...
by Philip Tom
Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:32 pm
Forum: Swordsmanship Product Reviews
Topic: Huanuo's Qianlong Imperial Dao
Replies: 2
Views: 11153

http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/huanuo/img/idaog_wqwLNpo8hoeV.jpg HISTORICAL DESIGN AUTHENTICITY: I would call this saber an interpretation of the original pattern as opposed to a reproduction, since it appears to be a composite of blade and fittings designs from different Qianlong court sabers. T...
by Philip Tom
Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:42 am
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: WW2 Da Dao
Replies: 18
Views: 20769

INSERTED EDGE STEEL -- IT'S THERE!

Kenneth, There's the old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but the teeth on this horse are worth another glance. Don't sell this one short -- a couple of your close up photos do show evidence that the blade is of QIANGANG construction, in other words a high-carbon steel edge plate ...
by Philip Tom
Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:37 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Chinese Jian Blade Construction
Replies: 5
Views: 9272

CORRECTION IS IN ORDER

BondFan's post of 27 Sep, final paragraph, contains an error. Sanmei (literally meaning threefold) is composed of a hard (high-carbon) steel INNER plate (forming the exposed edge(s) of the blade, flanked ON EACH SIDE by a plate of softer, more resilient material (usually a laminate of lower-carbon s...
by Philip Tom
Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:04 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Crossguards
Replies: 16
Views: 18058

The main reason would be that the fencing techniques in those cultures didn't put much importance on relying on a guard for hand protection. Look at the Western world's counterpart to the Han dynasty jian, the Roman gladius. What passes for a guard on the typical pattern is a shaped block of wood, w...
by Philip Tom
Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:58 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: Spear assembily
Replies: 3
Views: 4999

Just the other day a friend showed me 3 spearheads he just picked up, one was the "window hook spear" with side prong, the other were odd single-edge knife-like heads resembling a medieval European 'couse', all the sockets had a hole for a pin or rivet. The knife-edge spears were quite well-forged, ...
by Philip Tom
Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:53 pm
Forum: Chinese Historical Arms
Topic: What do Qing Regulations have to say about the dao?
Replies: 5
Views: 6481

The entries in the Huangchao Liqi Tushi are succinct and fairly brief. Each listing starts with the name of the object, and for some of the things, the year in which the pattern was adopted is listed in the introduction. As to sabers, basic dimensions (overall, blade length / width / thickness, alon...