During the Tang Dynasty (618907) the single-edged Dao was a popular weapon, having muscled out the Jian for military preeminence centuries earlier. Notice how the blade bears a resemblance to the katana? During the Tang Dynasty, many Chinese and Korean smiths emigrated to Japan where their metallurgical skills were in demand. From these Tang smiths the Japanese would adopt the swordmaking techniques of folded steel and the use of clay for differential hardening. Even as late as the 12th century, many Japanese smiths were were claiming fabled Chinese smith Ganjiang as the original patron of their skills.
This Tang Dao 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 6,600 layers. It is the higher grade of steel from this manufacturer and has a more finished polish that brings out its additional steel 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 feature the peony flower, regarded as the flower of riches and honor in China. The scabbard and grip are of darkened wood. The sword comes in a wooden, ornamented gift box with a boxed cleaning kit and a silk embroidered sword bag.