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This Tibetan sword has an iron hilt set with a coral cabochon. The hilt has a trefoil pommel and silver-alloy wire wound around the grip. The pommel is of iron chiselled with scrollwork.
The back of the pommel is fixed with a suspension loop.
The iron hand guard has fluted vertical edges.
The scabbard has an iron frame that is chiselled with scrolling patterns. It is decorated with leather on the reverse, and Chinese silk on the front. The lower section of the front of the scabbard is decorated with a chased, parcel-gilt silver plaque set with a large coral cabochon in a high box setting.
The steel blade is single-edge and damascened with a faint hairpin pattern and some signs of old corrosion.
See Reynolds (1999, p. 67) for a related example in the collection of the Newark Museum.
Hales, R., Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.
LaRocca, D.J., Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006.
Reynolds, V. et al, From the Sacred Realm: Treasures of Tibetan Art from the Newark Museum, Prestel, 1999.