The Jian, originally a pillar of Chinese militaries, lost in popularity to the single-edged Dao of various forms after the Han Dynasty. The mass-conscripted armies that have been a mainstay of Chinese military history found the Dao easier to train with. The Jian required more skill to master, and thus became a weapon of the noble and gentleman a mark of someone with the time to perfect its use and exploit its forms.
It became then, more typical for a Jian to be ornamented, an expression of the wealth and dignity of its wielder, such as this Jian. With embellished fittings depicting noble plants, flutes and Jian, this sword exhibits the tastes of the Chinese nobles. The pommel lanyard features a plate of white jade etched in the form of a dragon. Chinese high society had an insatiable desire for jade and believed the perfection of the stone was a reflection of the qualities of beauty, grace and purity that they valued.
This Jian was made in Longquan, a region central to sword production in the Song Dynasty. The blade is folded high-carbon steel of 1045 and 1065 containing 3,800 layers. Folded steel was a common blade-making technique in China as it minimized impurities and melded hard and flexible steels together for a compromise containing both qualities. The hilt, guard and fittings are handmade brass and the scabbard is wood. The sword comes in a wooden gift box with a boxed cleaning kit and an embroidered silk sword bag.