Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sword (Ral gri)

17th–19th century
Iron, silver, gold, turquoise, wood, textile
L. 33 in. (83.8 cm); L. of blade 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm); W. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm); D. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); Wt. 2 lb. (907.2 g)
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
Not on view
This sword is a representative example of the most familiar Tibetan form, well made and of fairly good quality. The surface of the blade has a prominent hairpin pattern, an important characteristic of traditional Tibetan swords. The pattern consists of seven dark lines alternating with six light lines, caused by the repeated folding of two different types of iron, which were combined to make the blade during the forging process.
[William Ockelford Oldman, London, before 1935; sold to Stone]; George Cameron Stone, New York (until d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
Grancsay, Stephen V. "A Viking Chieftain's Sword." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17, no. 7 (March 1959). p. 177, ill. (detail).

La Rocca, Donald J. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. pp. 5, 146, 147, 157, no. 61, ill. p. 157.

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