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China & East Asia

16th C. Korean Joseon Choson Dynasty Iron War Helmet, silver damascene

16th C. Korean Joseon Choson Dynasty Iron War Helmet, silver damascene

( ID: ca1196 )

A rare early war helmet from Korea, dating to the 15-17th centuries. This form of helmet has an archaic form, influenced by Central Asian prototypes with the distinct forms of eye cutouts.  An early Timurid period Persian helmet in the collection of the Hermitage has similar eye cutouts and which would have had chainmail extending down in a mask form, and likewise early Ottoman, Persian, and Mamluke turban helmets also retain the eye cutouts with chainmail to have extended beneath.   Korean helmets do not have chainmail and would have otherwise had cloth, with intern...

Rare 16-17th C. Ming Period Chinese Jian Straight Sword

Rare 16-17th C. Ming Period Chinese Jian Straight Sword

( ID: cs1193 )

A very uncommonly early Chinese jian sword with a lamellar blade and plain blackened iron fittings. This jian dates to the Ming period judging by the style of the blade which is thick, heavy but well balanced and with a lenticular cross section. The plain blackened iron fittings and the downswept guard are also indications of early construction, and the red lacquered scabbard can be found on other early Ming dynasty period swords. The condition is original and untouched throughout, and the blade shows signs of lamellar construction but is untouched and uncleaned, which we'll leave to the...

Price:$2,499
Rare 19th C. Chinese Qing Period Tiger Hook Sword Shuang Gou, of Chinese layered damascus steel

Rare 19th C. Chinese Qing Period Tiger Hook Sword Shuang Gou, of Chinese layered damascus steel

( ID: cs1188 )

A rare example of an original fighting Chinese tiger hook sword of the early 19th C. These were known as qian kun ri yue dao (literally "Heaven and Earth, Sun and Moon sword".  They had four components: The back, which is often used as a regular sword. The hook, which is used to trip enemies, catch weapons and for slashing. The end of the hilt, which is sharpened. The crescent guard, which is used for blocking, trapping and slashing. This example, unlike most examples, is an original fighting example with a beautifully lenticular cross section blade composed of layered la...

Price:$2,899
Fine 18th C. Chinese Manchu Qianlong Period Bow with arrows

Fine 18th C. Chinese Manchu Qianlong Period Bow with arrows

( ID: ca1185 )

A fine example of an 18th-early 19th C. Chinese compound bow in  fine condition. The bow retains almost all of the original red striped birchbark decoration in fine condition in addition to the white and green rayskin inlays. One of the deer horn nocks is missing and the horn has a crack but otherwise the condition is very fine. It is rare to find Chinese bows of any period especially retaining nearly all of the decoration.   The bow was acquired with three Manchu arrows which remain in fine condition and have matching rayskin nocks.  The arrowheads have a t...

Price:$2,799
Rare 18th C. Thai Narai Hok Spear, with original scabbard. Ayutthayan Period.

Rare 18th C. Thai Narai Hok Spear, with original scabbard. Ayutthayan Period.

( ID: ca1167 )

A rare Thai narai hok foot soldiers spear, though this example likely was carried by an officer judging by the decoration at the spear collar and the crossguard. The iron spearhead is in original condition and appears to be laminated and of traditional spatulate form with a square cross section at the base. The shaft is in exceptional condition and most unusually is made of a finely patinated brass or copper mix. The spearhead collar is likewise crafted from brass or copper and chiseled with Thai flame motifs.  Most exceptional is the original matching brass scabbard of material simil...

Price:$3,500
Important 15th C. Chinese Ming Dynasty Chiseled and Gilded Iron Fitting

Important 15th C. Chinese Ming Dynasty Chiseled and Gilded Iron Fitting

( ID: ca1154 )

A rare and important 15th C. Chinese Ming Dynasty chiseled and gilded iron fitting.  This piece would have likely formed part of a belt belonging to a high ranking warrior or prince.  It is also possible that it was produced for sale to Tibet as other extant Ming, and earlier, period Chinese chiseled and gilded iron workmanshipis thought to have been. The dating of this piece can be attributed to a number of 15th C. Ming dynasty iron artifacts with certain similar features, specifically identified by the distinct damascened scrollwork border that is found on our example....

Rare 18th C. Qianlong Chinese Bow, marked to period of the Qianlong Emperor

Rare 18th C. Qianlong Chinese Bow, marked to period of the Qianlong Emperor

( ID: ca1015 )

A fine example of a rare 18th C. Chinese bow. This example is made of horn and birch wood, covered in birch bark and painted with lacquer and especially most interesting is the paint of tiger stripes.  It has various design features that are associated with earlier bows, namely: 1. All decoration follows straight lines, comparable to what are fangshi or "angular style" on saber fittings. 2. Ears are of angular cross-section, with the analogy to saber scabbard and handle cross-sections from earlier swords, such as the Qianlong sword we have in our sold section. 3. It h...

Price:$2,800
Rare 16-17th C. Tibetan Helmet with original Chinese silk brocade textile

Rare 16-17th C. Tibetan Helmet with original Chinese silk brocade textile

( ID: ca1000 )

A wonderful 16-17th C. or earlier Tibetan helmet of known form that has retained its original brocade silk ear and neck coverings which have remained in vivid and beautiful condition, with few losses or tears. The helmet is composed of eight plates that would have originally been wound with leather thongs, however in the working life of the helmet the plates have been secured with iron to prevent shifting and movement, and likely after the leather straps would have worn away.  The helmet retains its internal sackcloth padded interior. The brocade flaps are made of silk as an externa...

Price:$10,500
Magnificent 16th C. Tibetan dagger with a carved iron vajra form handle

Magnificent 16th C. Tibetan dagger with a carved iron vajra form handle

( ID: ia625 )

Truly a work of art. This examples forms the keystone to our Tibetan collection, and our particular love of carved ironwork.  The dagger is fitted with a beautiful handle carved out of iron and richly overlaid with gold and silver. The scabbard is wood covered in leather and framed with carved and gilded iron, mounted with three stones in gilded iron cups, the bottom one which is especially finely made.  The blade is standard Tibetan style blade, and is slightly shaky.   Referencing Donald LaRocca’s “Art of the Himalayan Warrior” turns up no similar examples of this type o...

Price:$14,999