The LK Chen “Tai Yang” Yan Ling Dao is based on a 17th century original from the late Ming or early Qing dynasty. The “Goosequill” style blade of the saber is fairly straight for half its length before arcing into a subtle and elegant curve which marks it as a transition design from earlier and straighter Dao to more radically curved Dao. The sword would have been eminently suitable for the cavalryman on horseback, but equally suitable for the warrior on foot. The sword takes its nickname “Tai Yang” (The Sun) from the sunbust-like pattern of the guard, which was a rarer shape for the guard of these swords – but it has been faithfully reproduced by LK Chen here after the historic original.

The sword is quite responsive in the hand and very capably of delivering powerful cuts and swift slashes. The blade has a thick spine along much of its length to stiffen and strengthen the blade and terminates into a much thinner tip which greatly minimizes drag and resistance so that the blade can pass cleanly and quickly through the target. The blade itself is forged from folded 1065 and T9 high carbon steel which has been skillfully melded together into a single blade by the bladesmith and this forging method has left a ripple-like patterning throughout the blade. Folding steel was a common bladesmithing technique in China to optimize the steel by reducing impurities and combining the desirable properties of harder and softer steel into a single blade.

The hilt and scabbard are crafted in the squared-off “Fang-Shi” style which was in vogue in the 17th century and the disc guard, grip collar and pommel are all crafted from antiqued iron. The grip is fine wood which is bound in well-knotted cord and the matching scabbard is made from wood and bound in supple faux leather and completed with matching fittings of antiqued iron. A cloth sword bag for storage and transport is included.

Please Note: It is common for the brown dye used for the leather to have crossed over and discolored some of the antiqued components on the scabbard on this item.