6384

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Superb Mongolian Silver Presentation Sword with Lapis Lazuli, Coral & Turquoise

Mongolia or China
circa 1870

length: 100.5cm, weight: 1,740g

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Provenance

private English collection

This magnificent long presentation sword is of either Mongolian or Chinese origins but is either for the Mongolian market or has obvious Mongolian influence.

Such swords were not used in battle but were presentation pieces given to ambassadors, visiting dignitaries and other notables.

The scabbard and hilt are encased entirely in silver. The entire scabbard, the pommel and the quillon block is decorated with applied silver filigree work laid out in a Chinese key-fret pattern, and inset in box setting with lapis lazuli, turquoise and coral (there are some losses to the stones here and there). The stones are inset on the hilt, both sides of the scabbard and impressively, also along both edges of the scabbard, and are variously arrayed as lotus and other blooms.

The scabbard has two suspension mounts in silver formed as dragons. A silver chain with a hook is suspended between the two.

It has a plain, double-sided blade.

A similar, gilded example is illustrated in Hales (2013, p. 194).

The example here is in excellent condition other than rust staining to the blade and several losses to the inlaid stones.

References

Hales, R., Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.

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