The Jian was considered an elegant, scholarly weapon in China and its craftsmanship and refinement of the swordsmans art was an expression of cultured tastes. This Jian is infused with natural symbolism in the four noble plants. The pommel and guard are adorned with plum blossoms; a harbinger for vitality, as the plum trees are among the first to blossom after winter. The Chinese have a saying for the strong fragrance of plum, for they say it comes from the bitterness and coldness of a long winter an allegory to the strength to persevere and thrive. The orchids of purity are at the top of the wood scabbard. Midway lie the bamboo of strength and the scabbard end cap has the Chrysanthemum of humility.
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 handmade brass and the grip and scabbard are of wood. The sword comes in a wooden, ornamented gift box with a boxed cleaning kit.
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