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Vietnamese Kiem
A very fine sword
Auspicious alloys
Inlayed metals
Very fine repousse
A rare example

Vietnamese Kiem A very fine sword Auspicious alloys Inlayed metals Very fine repousse A rare example www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


An exceptional Vietnamese Kiem.

In its scabbard, this sword measures 98cms long. Out it is 82cms long and carried a blade that is 59.5cms long.
The pommel is of exceptional quality and size. At the widest point the repousse silver guard measures 14cms across and some 4.5cms thick from dragon face to dragon face. The tri-lobed pommel is equally impressive in size, being 6.5cms across and 3cms thick. The oversized grip is metal, likely bronze. Its surface has been enamelled and inlaid with silver bamboo leaves and a large central Shou symbol to each side. It is capped with silver collars between the repousse silver guard and pommel. The surfaces of the guard and pommel are some of the deepest repousse silver with such crisp three dimensional dragon motifs that I personally have laid eye upon. The detail and layering of the silver work is simply exquisite.
Equally exquisite is the quality, clarify and depth of the silverwork encasing the mixed alloy on the swords scabbard. The throat displays a Qulin to one face and turtle to the other with the Qulin prancing gracefully amidst the earth and clouds whilst the turtle appears to be swimming freely in the depths of the river. The mid suspension silverwork shows four distinctly different floral motifs, comprising of various flower, fruit and bamboo motifs. The scabbard drag displays a flowing dragon within clouds while the reverse displays a phoenix with long flaming tail feathers.
The main body of the scabbard is a mixed copper alloy which encased the blade. Each surface between the silver fittings is inlaid with stunning silvers, bronze and copper floral designs with twist copper and silver wire tendrils flowing from these floral arrangements.
The swords blade is of typical Kiem form and size with this example being of a diamond cross section as the base, which sits within a silver tonkou. A medial ridge is found on each face, running through to the rounded tip.

A very fine and rare example that displays the stunning quality and craftsmanship of Vietnam. An exquisite example of a Mandarin official's court ware, typically seen in historical photos in the hands of the sword bearer/s in his personal entourage.

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