Sword (Ral gri)

Date: 17th–19th century

Culture: Tibetan

Medium: Iron, silver, gold, turquoise, wood, textile

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Swords

Credit Line: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935

Accession Number: 36.25.1464


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.