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Vietnam, Daoist ritual knife
Jian/kiem ritual knife
Auspicious ritual item
Large barking deer antler hilt

Vietnam Daoist ritual knife Jian kiem Guom ritual knife Auspicious ritual item Large barking deer antler hilt a unique cultural relic kilin www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A beautiful and rare Taoist knife from Vietnam.

This rare Kiem shaped ritual knife dates from the second half of the 19th century.
Overall it is 42cms long, with a blade length of just over 19cms.
The knife's hilt is a large an auspicious and unusually straight barking deer antler, its base encased in repousse silver.
The hilt and blade are separated by a simple quatrefoil shaped silver guard, with the base of the blade encased in a silver tonkou.
The blade form is that of the Vietnamese Kiem/Chinese Jian. It is thin in cross section but extremely robust and rigid. Its faces are decorated in classic Nguyen Dynasty engraving.
The importance of the barking deer horn or Muntjac as they are scientifically known, are often over looked, yet clearly understood when coupled with this votive item.
They have long appears in written and oral history within South East Asia, from the chronicle of Sakon Nakhon, to legends of the Montagnard and beyond. When considering the context of this Vietnamese ritual item, one needs not look beyond the Legendary Qilin that appears with the imminent arrival or passing of a Sage or Illustrious ruler.

An important ritual knife, Vietnam, 19th century.

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