Chinese Dao sword with rare Huawengang twistcore blade

Early Chinese Dao sword with rare Huawengang twistcore blade

A most interesting Chinese sabre of goose-quill form 'yanmaodao'. The blade of rare and huawengang or 'flower-patterned' steel better known as twist-core damascus to collectors of arms. Additionally with a visible inserted high carbon steel edge. The long sharp blade with intricate chiselled fullering inlaid with dots of brass or gold. The upper blade curiously features an inlay in archaic Tibetan script forming the phrase 'razor of life'. This can be taken literally as a poetic description of the sword, or possibly also a reference to Buddhism in which the 'tantra of the razor of life' alludes to the slaying of metaphorical enemies or demons. "srog gi spu kri" is probably also an allusion to the expression "the spirit/soul of the sword. Also featuring an inlaid dragon to one side below the handguard. The sword being of typical Chinese form could possibly be a war capture from this turbulent period of the 17th/18th century when China was becoming dominant over a previously powerful and warlike nation of Tibet. The hilt with sturdy steel mounts edged with a scalloped partially pierced design, retaining its original wooden grip.  far east qing ming

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