Object Title

Sword (ban) and scabbard

Sword (ban) and scabbard



Object Number



Presented 23 May 2003

Physical Description

The sword has a straight, flat-sided, single edged blade with a central rounded point. There is a slight nick in the cutting edge near the tip. It is fitted, via a silver collar, to a wooden hilt carved with a small quillon block (part of this is missing) and a pommel of similar shape to some Bhutanese and Tibetan swords. The wood grip is bound with five bands of twisted silver wire. The outer face of the pommel is decorated with a silver flower shape (probably representing a lotus bloom) with a copper headed rivet, and there is another flower attached in the same way to the quillon block towards one side, with a hole suggesting that there was previously another one positioned towards the other side as well before it was lost.

The open-fronted scabbard is made from a single piece of wood, recessed on the face to receive the blade and fitted with two brass bands to retain the sword in the recess. These bands are decorated with stylised flower and border designs in light relief. At the base of the scabbard is a further silver rosette or lotus bloom suspended above a silver crescent, again secured in place with copper headed rivets. A leather thong is fitted through slots in the scabbard at the back.


BladeLength358 mm
BladeWidth36 mm
ScabbardLength432 mm
ScabbardWeight0.096 kg
ScabbardWidth50 mm
SwordLength502 mm
SwordWeight0.454 kg
OverallLength565 mm
OverallWeight0.55 kg

Component parts

Inscriptions and Marks




There is another similar example of a sword (ban) of the Lepcha people of Sikkim in the Pitt Rivers Museum, accession number 1907.47.4.