Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number



Purchased at auction, Sotheby's 16 December 1980, lot 244. From the Major A D F White collection.

Physical Description

The blade is straight and single edged, terminating in a rounded point. Both faces show an elaborate swirled patterne of mixed steels. The guard is of iron, bilobed and dished so that the underside is hollow. The vertical edges of the guard are fluted. Above the guard is an iron collar with a central rectangular pierecd panel that is gilded. The grip is entirely wrapped in silver wire. The lobed pommel is decorated with a pierced and gilded panel like the collar and is further decorated with a bead of turquoise.

The wooden scabbard is rectangular in section, widening very slightly towards the base and has the front face covered with a brocade having a hexagonal pattern and the back covered with green granulated leather. Running around the sides and base of the scabbard is an iron strip, pierced and gilded. At the throat is a wide iron band with gilded scrolled foliage. Covering the brocade at either end of the scabbard are embossed and chased silver panels, that at the top with two phoenix on either side of a raised coral bead, at the base two dragons, the bead being missing. Around the scabbard are two partially gilded iron bands that fasten to standing loops on the top edge. Threaded through these are leather straps closed by Turk's head knots in coloured leathers. These straps both attach to and irom belt hook.


OverallLength1010 mm
BladeLength860 mm
ScabbardLength917 mm

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

D La Rocca, Warriors of the Himalayas, rediscovering the arms and armour of Tibet, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006: 161, no. 65


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