L. 34 7/8 in. (88.6 cm); L. of blade 29 1/2 in. (74.9 cm); L. of hilt 7 1/4 in. (18.3 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund and Fletcher Fund, by exchange, 1995
Not on view
This is one of the best examples from a small group of rare early swords from Tibet. The hilt of this sword, including its grip, is made entirely of iron that has been embossed, chiseled, and then damascened in gold and silver. The guard, just below the grip, is in the form of a stylized mask with teeth and fangs, representing a protective deity or guardian figure. Straight double-edged blades of this type are seen more often on Chinese swords, but they were also used in Tibet.
"Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1994–1995." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 53, no. 2 (fall 1995). p. 77, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. The Gods of War: Sacred Imagery and the Decoration of Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 10th 1996-December 1997. pp. 15, 42, checklist no. 24, ill. pl. 9.
Richardson, Thom. "The Ming Sword." Royal Armouries Yearbook 1 (1996). pp. 98–99, fig. 6.
Lavin, James D. The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas: Spanish Damascene from the Khalili Collection. Oxford: Khalili Collection, May 1997. pp. 14–15, figs. 3, 4.
La Rocca, Donald J. "An Approach to the Study of Arms and Armour from Tibet." Royal Armouries Yearbook 4 (2000). p. 122, fig. 17.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Mr. Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991-2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 4, 2002–June, 29 2003. pp. 47–48, no. 44, ill. (color) p. 47.
La Rocca, Donald J. "Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet." In Warriors of the Himalayas. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 1, 2006. pp. 152–153, no. 57, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. "Tibetan Warriors : The Challenges of Presenting the Warlike Side of a Peaceful Culture." In The Universal Heritage of Arms and Military History: Challenges and Choices in a Changing World, ICOMAM Conference, Vienna 2007. Vienna, 2008. p. 44, fig. 8 left.
Nickel, Helmut, William Reid, Ian Eaves, Mario Scalini, Claude Gaier, Álvaro Soler Del Campo, Jean-Pierre Reverseau, Jan Piet Pyupe, Donald J. La Rocca, Jeffrey Forgeng, Jonathan Tavares, Dirk H. Breiding, Pierre Terjanian, and Mr. Ronald S. Lauder. The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr, edited by Donald J. La Rocca. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. pp. 96–97, figs. 7 (color) and 8 (color detail).
La Rocca, Donald J. "An Early Tibetan Text of the Connoisseurship of Swords." In The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. pp. 96–97, figs. 7 (color) and 8 (color detail).