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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 4:37 am    Post subject: Show us your jian         Reply with quote

"Jian" (traditional: 劍, simplified: 剑) literally means "sword", but is used to refer to the straight double-edged sword. Usually, the Chinese sword is meant, but the same character is used for straight double-edged swords in Korea and Japan, and elsewhere where Chinese characters are traditionally used.

"Jian" is Mandarin, Pinyin romanisation. (Wade-Giles is "chien"). "Gim" in Cantonese, "geom" in Korean, and "ken" and "tsurugi" in Japanese (yes, that's the "ken" in "kendo").

"Jian" (鐧) means a type of mace or club. While this has the same romanisation sans tone, it isn't a homophone since the tones are different (鐧 is jian3 or jiǎn, 劍 is jian4 or jiàn). These don't belong here, but in their own "Show us your jian (mace)" thread.

For more info, a good first start is the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jian

So, bring on the jian!

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To open the parade of jian, here are the Hanwei Chinese Cutting Sword (920g, PoB 3.5") and the Cold Steel Gim (915g, PoB 4"). Both are effective cutters, well-built, and well-balanced. The CS Gim was fond of rusting in the scabbard when new, but well-oiled kept that at bay, and it appears to have settled down now.


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jian1.jpg
Hanwei and Cold Steel jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Hanwei Adam Hsu Jian. I believe these are now discontinued. The one-handed one came in a range of blade lengths (28", 30", 32", 34"), and both the one-handers and the two-hander were available with a wooden grip or with a fibreglass grip. The one-hander is the 34" (measured from the very base of the blade), 760g and PoB 4" from the end of the guard. The two-hander is a light and well-balanced longsword (910g, PoB 4", CoP 1" from tip [1]). The blades are stiff for their weight, since they hollow diamond profile, with a prominent ridge.

[1] CoP = centre of percussion, AKA forward pivot point, AKA centre of oscillation. Not a node of vibration (which is often called the CoP, but that's a misuse of terminology)!



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jian3.jpg
Hsu jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some very large jian. The longsword-sized one (bottom) is 1350g, PoB at 6.5". It would balance better and have better point control if the pommel was a little heavier (it's fairly thin-walled and hollow; it could be weighted with a little lead or suchlike (which is done on the Cold Steel Gim)). The bigger one is a dedicated two-hander, at 1960g, PoB 4", and CoP close to the tip (maybe 3"?). It's a nice relatively light two-hander; with a long cross, it would work as a montante. Diamond section blade.


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jian4.jpg
Very big jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 5:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some archaic jian. The face-pommel sword is a cheap sword almost certainly inspired by Hanwei's Qi Jian, which Hanwei says was inspired by a legendary pre-Qin (i.e., pre-unification) sword (from the state of Qi, the last major state to be conquered by the Qin in their unification of China). It incorporates some archaic Chinese elements (like the face), but given that the real legendary jian, if there was a real one, was probably bronze, and this isn't built like a bronze sword, it's a fantasy jian. 935g, PoB 6.5"

The ring-pommel sword is a steel sword in the pattern of a bronze dao. This is double-edged all the way, so technically, it's a jian with an asymmetric tip. But it's a steel copy of a bronze dao (i.e., single-edged sword); the back edge on the originals were a couple of millimeters thick, rather than sharp. 935g (the same as the other one), PoB 3.5", CoP very close to the tip (about 2"). The bronze originals are early Han; lots of info and some bronze reproductions by Jeroen Zuiderwijk can be seen at http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?92562



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dao4.jpg
Jian or dao?

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jian2.jpg
Archaic jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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William M




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brilliant photos! I have had quite a few jian over the years but they have been all non-functional pieces such as the Hanwei practical, and rosewood pieces. The cold steel gim, which I believe is also sold under the Huanuo with a few differences, looks quite nice and I prefer it to the cutting jian, which to me is ruined by the overly long handle.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 04 May, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some small jian. These are the size of large daggers or dirks. These appear to have been carried as daggers/dirks, sometimes. They were also made in large numbers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as ornaments and tourist souvenirs. Quality can vary from junk blades, completely unhardened, through to excellent sanmei blades.

From the left:
1. Sanmei, 385g, according to seller, pre-1850 (so sounds like Opium War acquisition).
2. 310g, 440 with scabbard (but some mounts are missing, and the wood is, I think, new).
3. A plain example, typical of a user blade, 435g.
4. Blade looks touristy, 365g, 530 with scabbard.



 Attachment: 98.62 KB
jian5.jpg
Small jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Chris Lampe




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PostPosted: Sun 04 May, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought this antique blade from Scott Rodell and had it restored by Phillip Tom. Tom dated the blade to around the turn of the 20th century and the furniture are cast reproductions of antiques. Tom made the grip himself. I sold this sword around the same time I sold the Dao.







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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Some archaic jian. The face-pommel sword is a cheap sword almost certainly inspired by Hanwei's Qi Jian, which Hanwei says was inspired by a legendary pre-Qin (i.e., pre-unification) sword (from the state of Qi, the last major state to be conquered by the Qin in their unification of China). It incorporates some archaic Chinese elements (like the face), but given that the real legendary jian, if there was a real one, was probably bronze, and this isn't built like a bronze sword, it's a fantasy jian. 935g, PoB 6.5"

The ring-pommel sword is a steel sword in the pattern of a bronze dao. This is double-edged all the way, so technically, it's a jian with an asymmetric tip. But it's a steel copy of a bronze dao (i.e., single-edged sword); the back edge on the originals were a couple of millimeters thick, rather than sharp. 935g (the same as the other one), PoB 3.5", CoP very close to the tip (about 2"). The bronze originals are early Han; lots of info and some bronze reproductions by Jeroen Zuiderwijk can be seen at http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?92562


The ring shaped is called Huan Shou Dao.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Han shou dao = 环首刀 = ring head sword. I've mostly seen this used to refer to Han steel dao, but seems OK for bronze ring pommel dao. I haven't seen it used for later ring pommel dao (Ming, Qing, and later), which usually have more function-related names.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Show us your jian         Reply with quote


Wow! I've never seen a two-handed jian before. And that one looks awesome. Wink

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 1:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It handles like a featherweight longsword. I like it.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 1:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tibetan monster sword. This one is a modern Chinese replica/fake, and rather crudely made. 1265g. The real ones were often made in China, and given to high-ranking Tibetans. Here is an example of a real one: http://www.asianart.com/exhibitions/tibet-armor/intro_010.html


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jian6.jpg
Monster sword

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

7 star jian. Modern replica/fake. Fittings are basically trash, and the blade is nice. Sanmei, pattern-welded sides, nice transition from blade to tang. A little over-etched, and I don't know how hard the blade is. The plan is to make a set of plain iron fittings, and remount. 885g.


 Attachment: 62.95 KB
jian7.jpg
7 star jian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 2:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shuang jian (雙劍 (traditional) or 双剑 (simplified)), or double jian, or twin jian. I think these are mid/late 20th century; supposed to be pre-1990. Fairly light thin blades, lighter than the typical functional shuangjian of this length, so likely made for decorative/tourist purposes. Triangular section blades, as common for shuang jian. 470g and 480g. The scabbard has two separate compartments for the two swords, with a thin piece of wood between them.


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jian8.jpg
Shuangjian

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug, 2015 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A newer antique jian. Looks end-of-Qing or Republic to me; seller estimated 1900-1930 and I agree. Long, heavy, and ill-balanced: point of balance 6" out from the guard, and forward pivot point about 10" in from the tip. (So it's balanced like a dao, not a jian.)

Don't know what this was made for. Rather late to be intended for combat. Deep nicks/dings in the blade don't say much for the hardness of the edge.



 Attachment: 54.73 KB
jian_repb.jpg


"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.


Last edited by Timo Nieminen on Sun 02 Aug, 2015 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug, 2015 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Two replica bronze jian. As usual with the cheap replicas, made of brass. The ear-pommel one feels quite nice in hand; it's 590g, while the shorter one is 705g.


 Attachment: 57.88 KB
jian_bronze1b.jpg


"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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