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Tibetan or Chinese, 14th–16th century
Iron, gold, silver
L. overall 34 7/8 in. (88.6 cm), blade, L. 29½ in. (74.9 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase,
Rogers Fund and Fletcher Fund, by exchange, 1995 (1995.136)
cat. no. 57
This sword is one of the best of a small
group of rare early swords from Tibet. Its hilt, including
the grip, is made entirely of iron that has been embossed,
chiseled, and damascened in gold and silver. The style of
its ornament relates closely to that of the detached sword
guard (cat. no. 56) and the elaborate sword and scabbard
from the Royal Armouries (cat. no. 55) displayed nearby.
It’s form (though not its condition or quality) is
echoed by the two equally rare Tibetan swords (cat. nos.
58, 59) displayed on either side.
all text & images © Metropolitan Museum
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