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.
Ex. coll.: W. O. Oldman, London; George Cameron Stone; New York.[William Ockelford Oldman, London, before November 18, 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. "Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet." In Warriors of the Himalayas. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 1, 2006. pp. 5, 146, 147, 157, no. 61, ill. p. 157.

Related Objects

Pair of Stirrups (Yob)

Date: possibly 12th–14th century Medium: Iron, gold, silver Accession: 1999.119a, b On view in:Gallery 378

Sword (Ral gri)

Date: 14th–16th century Medium: Iron, steel, gold, silver Accession: 1995.136 On view in:Not on view

Sword Guard

Date: 14th–15th century Medium: Iron, gold, silver, copper Accession: 2014.533 On view in:Gallery 378

Armored Cavalryman

Date: 18th–19th century Medium: Steel, iron, gold, silver, copper alloy, brass, wood, leather, textile, bone, horn, silk, hair, turquoise, lead Accession: 36.25.25,.28,.351,.476,.583,.842,.2174... On view in:Gallery 378

Saddle (Gser Sga) Made for Yuthok Tashi Dundrup (g.yu thog bkra shis don grub, 1906–1983)

Date: ca. 1942–46 Medium: Copper alloy, iron, gold, turquoise, wood, leather, textile (silk, cotton) Accession: 2008.81a On view in:Gallery 378