This Jian features the face and open maw of a Shishi (Lion-Dog) on its guard. Pairs of these lion-like creatures guard shrines and temples with stony vigilance. Similar in concept to the gargoyles of Western cathedrals, the Lion-Dogs prevent wicked spirits from entering sanctified places. This Jian is also heavily ornamented with the Chinese Dragon, a symbol of power and luck. The dragons on this sword are of the 5-toed variety, meaning they are the reserve symbol of the Emperor himself – A fitting ornament for a noble weapon, as the later Jian was a status weapon.
This Jian was made in Longquan, a region that was central to sword production in the Song Dynasty. The blade is folded high carbon steel of 1045 and 1065, it contains 3,800 layers. Folded steel was a common blademaking method in China as it minimized impurities and melded hard and flexible steels together for a compromise containing both qualities. The fittings are of zinc alloy and the scabbard is of darkened wood. The sword comes in a wooden, ornamented gift box with a boxed cleaning kit and a sword stand.