Royal Armouries

Ming sword

Images

Chinese sword from the Ming dynasty decorated with gold and stones, the hilt features a dragon's head

  • Chinese sword from the Ming dynasty decorated with gold and stones, the hilt features a dragon's head

Ming sword

Description

Crafted during the Ming dynasty (15th century), this sword is an outstanding work of art.

It was created for presentation to Tibet by the Yongle Ming emperor.

The iron hilt and the metal fittings of the scabbard are covered with gold and the finest quality decoration.

The hilt features a dragon’s head with two semi-precious stones for eyes.

This rare sword is one of the finest examples of Chinese weapons as works of art in the world.

The sword is decorated overall with Buddist symbols.

Tibetan Buddhism became important in China during the early years of the Ming Dynasty, and this sword was probably made for imperial presentation to one of the great Buddhist monasteries of Tibet by a Chinese Emperor in the early 15th century.

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