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The True King in the North

The True King in the North


Jian Sword with Scabbard

  • Dated: 19th century
  • Culture: Chinese
  • Medium: steel, jade, bronze, sharkskin
  • Measurements: overall lenght 28¾ inches (73 cm)

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Rapier with Scabbard

  • Dated: circa 1575-83
  • Culture: European, made in Dresden, Germany
  • Medium: engraved steel [blade]; blackened iron, pierced and engraved silver, wood, silver wire [hilt]; pierced and engraved silver, wood, leather [scabbard]
  • Measurements: pommel: 2 1/2 × 2 13/16 inches (6.3 × 7.1 cm). Blade: 11/16 × 42 3/8 inches (1.8 × 107.6 cm). Width (quillons): 9 15/16 inches (25.2 cm). Depth: 5 13/16 inches (14.8 cm). Scabbard: 2 1/2 inches × 7/8 inches × 3 feet 2 1/2 inches, 8.1 ounces (6.4 × 2.3 × 97.8 cm, 230g)

The blade was made by the bladesmith Andrea Ferrara, Italian (active Belluno, between 1550 - 1583). The silver mounts of the rapier and the scabbard are probably by silversmith Wendel unter den Linden, German (active Dresden, between 1566 - 1593, died before 1610).

Source: Copyright © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art


Kris Dagger

  • Dated: 17th or 18th century
  • Place of Origin: Java
  • Measurements: overall length: 17 inches (430mm); blade length: 13.5 inches (345mm)

This Kris, or Keris, dagger from North-West Java (Tegal/Cirebon), is dated circa 17th or 18th century. The carved ivory hilt is in the form of a crouched Bhimaor or Garuda. His hands rest on his legs, displaying two extremely long thumbnails. He has long curly hair, and a necklace of snakes. A copper mendak meets a Parmor Steel Ganja and blade. The Ganja is overlaid with golden lotus flowers and other decoration.


  1. Bhima is the hero of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (Wrekudoro in Javanese). He is the second of the Pandava brothers. The Mahabharata relates many events which portray the immense might of Bhima. One of the central reasons behind the envy of Duryodhana towards the Pandavas was the inability of the Kauravas to match Bhima’s strength. Eventually Bhima is responsible for slaying all hundred Kaurava brothers in the Kurukshetra War.
  2. Garuda is a large mythical bird-like creature, or humanoid bird that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The Brahminy kite and Phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda’s depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite).

Source: Copyright © 2014 Akaal Arms

Carice van Houten singing at Vestrock 2013.

The night is dark and full of terrors


Swepthilt Rapier

  • Dated: circa 1600 — 1700
  • Medium: steel

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK