Header image


Stock No..



Vietnamese Kiem
Royal Court presentation
named and dated 1918
Exceptional and rare swords

Kiem Vietnamese swords thanh guom Pair of Royal court presentation Qiding swords named and dated blades www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A release from my personal collections.

A very fine and rare pair of Mandarin presentation Vietnamese Kiem

Each of these straight swords measures 89cms in the scabbard , just over 77cms out, with a blade length just over 59cms.
Each sword closely resembles that of the Chinese Jian from which it is a descendant. The Kiem is however the lighter brother of the Jian and always carry lighter thinner blades.
The hilt grips and scabbard body are perfectly rolled and formed bronze sheets and are seamlessly joined creating a perfect fit. Each hilt is expertly inlayed on both sides with silver Shou symbols.
The body of the scabbards are adorned with very finely detailed floral and vines inlay of silver and various hues of copper alloys, a tribute to the ancient and famous talents of Vietnamese metal workers.
The decorations seen within the fine repousse silver fittings are auspicious symbols, being writhing four clawed dragons, a turtle or tortoise carrying an auspicious symbol, a Qilin or Kylân as it is known in Vietnam and rampant dragon faces to the guards and pommels. Various floral and key relief borders are also seen in the silverwork.
The blades are very strong yet pliable forged types in full polish and without a live edge.
Each blade is engraved with various Mandarin characters rather than Romanized Vietnamese alphabet for the Vietnamese language.
The use of the Mandarin script indicates this were made for and gifted by the ruling class and not without possibility due to the date that these were reward for parts played in various aspects of the turbulent times in Vietnam or gifted to one of the nine sub-prime ranks of the Emperor's court upon retirement from the Emperor's court.
The longer script indicated that the sword was gifted in the third year of the Qiding Dynasty of Vietnam, equating to 1918.
The second sword with the shorter script indicates it was gifted to someone superior. This script along with the wealth and quality accosiated with these swords in the day, suggest a very close accosiation with the Mandarin Ruling court of Vietnam.
More accurate translations to follow shortly

A remarkable pair of Kiem in exceptional condition throughout and an important piece of Vietnamese cultural heritage.

A provenanced bronze hilted Guom made in 1895 by Nguyen Ngoc Cat (1865-1923) is known and documented.

Further research pending and updates to follow.