This is a copper alloy sword which stylistically dates to the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China (770-476 BC). This type of sword is generally referred to as a ‘round handle’ jian (two-edged sword). The handle is actually a hollow, tapering cylinder that is flared at the pommel.
The guard is flat and rhombic or diamond-shaped when viewed from either end. The blade is long and slender, tapering near the point. There is a pronounced midrib that runs the entire length of the blade. Midribs are not common features on blades of this type.
Another interesting feature of the blade is the presence of two small decorations on one side just below the guard. The decorations are two small circles that look somewhat like “eyes”.
Though we were unable to locate any published studies on weapons with these types of decorations, they may represent a particular subtype that has yet to be documented. We know of only one other such sword with similar decorations.
The patina on this piece is very lively, colorful and hard, which is typical of copper alloy pieces originating in the Northern region. This particular piece was unearthed in Shandong Province. The predominant makeup of the patina appear to be malachite, cuprite and soil encrustations.
This piece measures 43.7 cm in length and weighs 470 grams. There is evidence of a minor repair to the handle. A 10 page authenticity report is available with this piece. Don't miss this rare opportunity.