The Tang Dynasty is considered by many to be the apex of the Chinese sword in regards to its influence and prestige; superior Chinese metallurgy and heat treatment techniques made these 7th century Tang swords highly sought after by foreign emissaries and nobles from both Korea and Japan. Having a Tang sword as a possession was a hallmark of status and many were brought back to the royal court in Japan as honored treasures. These Chinese swords and their swordsmithing techniques took root in Japan and would greatly influence later development of the Japanese sword.
This Tang Dao from LK Chen was designed to be representative of these fine quality Dao of the 7th century and it takes it dimensions and styling from an existing example in a Chinese private collection with the fittings on both sword and scabbard taking their inspiration from examples of these Tang Dao in the preserve of the SHŌSŌ-IN treasure house in Nara, Japan. The blade is forged form 1065 high carbon steel and T8 tool steel folded together into a single blade by a skilled swordsmith and the blending of these two steels in to a single blade created the intricate ripple-like patterning seen throughout the blade. The sharpened blade was differentially-tempered with the traditional clay tempering technique to give it a hardened, wear-resistant cutting edge of 58 HRc. The thick spine of the blade gives it excellent rigidity to ensure it can thrust with great ability and this spine tapers to a thin, chisel-shaped blade edge which can cut into and separate a target with ease.
This versatile sword can be wielded in one or two hands as needed and its hilt has fittings of rose copper and a grip of smoothly polished Rosewood. The scabbard is crafted from matching Rosewood and rose copper fittings to complete the sword.