This is a bronze sword from ancient China. It dates to the latter part of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (475-221 BC) which is called the Warring States period. This period in Chinese history was one of instability and conflict between many smaller kingdom-states.
Swords of this type are called “two-ring” swords because of the two prominent rings located on the hilt. The Chinese term for this weapon is “jian” which refers to a double-edged sword. This style of jian is generally attributed to either the Wu or the Yue state. These weapons have been recovered in the Shanxi, Hubei, Henan, and Guangxi Provinces, which is a testament to their wide usage and popularity. (See map page 8.)
The patina is mainly a dark brown with small patches of green. There is a conspicuous lack of surface deposits commonly seen on ancient bronze. This could be because the piece was interred in a “wet grave” where the lack of oxygen would have restricted corrosion or it could be the result of cleaning.
There are obvious mould lines on opposite sides of the hilt and there is a sprue mark along one mould line between the pommel and first ring. The locations of the mould lines and sprue mark are consistent with known examples. The entire piece appears to have been cleaned.
The blade tapers evenly from either side of the fine central rib to the beveled edges. The bevels are present from the guard all the way to the tip, where they merge with each other and the midrib.
The total weight of the sword is 575 grams. The total length (see image 2 line A) is 40.8 cm. The length of the hilt (line B) is 8.7 cm. The length of the blade measured along the centerline (line C) is 30.9 cm. The width of the blade at the guard is 3.9 cm. The width of the blade at 60% length (line E) is 3.1 cm and at 80% length is 2.9 cm.
The diameter of the pommel is 3.3 cm. The handle area is basically cylindrical with a slight taper from 1.3 cm at the pommel to 1.5 cm at the guard. The guard is 2.1 cm thick at the center. The blade is 0.9 cm thick at the guard and tapers to 0.6 cm at the tip.