This long, two-handed Han Dynasty Jian was forged in China and its blade is 1065 and 1045 high carbon steels which have been folded together into a single blade of more than 6,600 layers. The combination of harder and softer steels creates a blade that can both flex and absorb shock, as well as retain a keen edge. A blade of high quality, premium steels were used in its construction and these were finished with a fine, pearlescent polish which brilliantly displays the patterned layers of folded steel. Like a fingerprint, the precise patterning of each sword is unique to itself.The sword was made in Longquan – a region which has a long sword-crafting history dating back to the Song Dynasty.
The guard and pommel are high quality castings of brass with excellent detailing and an antiqued finish. The grip is a dark hardwood which has been polished to a fine and smooth finish. Each scabbard is carved to fit each individual sword blade for a fitted match and the scabbard itself is crafted from matching dark hardwood with a polished finish. Matching fittings of quality-cast antiqued brass and a tight black cordage complete the sword.
Included with the sword is a wooden display, gift and storage box. A maintenance kit with a cleaning powder ball, wiping cloths and a polished jar with sword oil.
During the Han Dynasty, steel swords co-existed with bronze, before replacing it entirely. Metallurgical improvements allowed for swords of both varieties to become longer, many, such as this example, were long enough to warrant the use of two hands. The Han Dynasty had many novel manufacturing improvements; ironworking was a state-run enterprise and one province had large blast furnaces built that could produce several tons of iron per day a feat not matched by the west until the eighteenth century. The Chinese even coated their metal weapons in chromium-oxide a protective layer that would not be used again until the 20th century. Their advancements allowed for long swords early on, and two-handed steel swords such as this Han Dynasty Sword would have been in arsenals throughout the Warring States period.