Made in Dalian, China by Hanwei, traditional hand forged European / Medieval style sword manufacturer... New in the original packaging.
Long associated with the Cossacks, the Cavalry of the Steppes, the sword was the standard military issue for Russian cavalry of the day. This version replicates the Model 1881 Shashka, originally produced during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, whose cipher appears on the pommel. The sharp high-carbon blade again etched with the royal cipher, features the distinctive blade geometry of the saber and the strong distal taper provides a balanced ideal for its slashing role.
(Photo colors may not match the actual colors)
The unique Shashka (or Shashqua) cavalry saber has its roots in the 12th century Caucasus region of Europe. The unique hilt styling dispenses with the basket guard typical of other sabers and instead relies on a ribbed hardwood grip and a strongly hooked pommel, assisted by a strong leather lanyard, to provide handling security.
1 * Cotton sword bag
1 * Sword certificate
The Art of Medieval Style Sword Making
The forging of a European / Medieval sword is a subtle and careful process, an art that has developed over the centuries as much in response to stylistic and aesthetic considerations as to technical improvements.
There was a smith to forge the rough shape, often a second smith (apprentice) to fold the metal, a specialist polisher, and even a specialist for the edge itself. Before the blacksmith or swordsmith actually starts hammering or heating the metal for a sword there is a lot of work to be done. The sword size, shape, properties, and metal composition all have to be decided upon. These factors determine the amount of metal, the temperatures of heating and the specific steps in the process that have to be completed.
Blades were often forged with different profiles, different blade thicknesses, and varying amounts of grind. Some blades were made of a laminate construction, produced by folding the steel over and over then forge welding at each fold (resulting in layers). In this lamination method to refine and make the steel more homogenous, it was folded and forges welded. The swordsmith had to fold the bar of metal, resulting in a doubling of the layers and in the process blending the qualities of the various pieces of steel in the billet. The more the steel was folded the more homogeneous the metal in the blade became. The number of folds would be determined by both the material and the final qualities the smith was looking for. One other way to combine smaller amounts of better steel into a larger useable billet was to create a piled structure where a few bars of refined steel were stacked together then welded as one and forged out into a blade shape without any further folding. But swords made by whatever means consisted essentially of careful combinations of softer iron with harder steel. There are many different methods for making a sword and the art has changed over the centuries as technologies, tools and the science of metallurgy has changed. But for the past five hundred years, there has been one method that still stands as the most common.
Today, swords are still being made by modern artisans; some pursue the traditional methods while others apply modern tools, techniques, and materials to the craft. A great number of commercially available swords are being made in China with modern tools and materials employing traditional methods. Let's remember that steel-making was imported into Europe from China, via Korea. The steel used in the Chinese swords, called "chi-kang" (combined steel), was similar to pattern welding, and edges of it were often forge-welded to a back of the soft iron, or "jou thieh." In trying to copy the Chinese method, the European smiths paid much attention to the various properties of steel and worked to combine them to produce an internal macro-structure that would provide a similar combination of hardness and toughness.
About Paul Chen / Hanwei Forge
Hanwei, a company that is widely acknowledged for producing first-class swords, is operated by Mr. Chen Chao-Po, also famously known by his alias, Paul Chen. The company was originally founded in Taiwan in the early 90's and is now distributed in the USA by Cas Iberia that's recently purchased by Mr. Chen. Hanwei's Samurai swords are currently viewed as contemporary pieces which give martial artists and collector a unique opportunity of owning a fine, quality sword.
Being a sword collector himself, Mr. Paul Chen understands the importance of owning excellent swords without having to pay for a hefty price. The first designs he created were based on some antique swords he inherited from his grandfather. Transforming an old chicken hatchery in the Manchurian city of Dalian into his own workshop, Mr. Chen gathered a team of experts in sword forging, polishing, heat treating and furnishing. This factory has since then produced the now coveted swords distributed by Hanwei.
Below are the 6 Basic Steps involved in the manufacturing of Hanwei Forge swords:
- A billet of high carbon steel is hot forged into a rough sword shape by power hammers.
- Then the scale is removed from the sword, which at this point is still soft and straight. Take note that the curvature of a Japanese sword is actually caused in the heat treatment phase.
- A special clay - which is Mr. Chens' own secret recipe - is applied by hand to the blade, thin at the edge and thick at the back.
- The blade is then reheated to a predetermined temperature and rapidly quenched in a water bath, which because of the different thickness of the clay, creates a differentially tempered blade with a harder, sharper edge and a softer, more flexible spine. It is also during this stage that the blade develops its characteristic curve.
- From the smithy, the tempered sword is then stress relieved and polished by hand with wet sandpaper. Acid etching brings out the hamon, and after a final polishing, the handle and other fittings are added and soon after leaves the factory for export.
- Another great aspect of Hanwei is their Samurai sword restoration facility wherein over the years; tons of damaged and abandoned pieces from the old masters have been successfully repaired to their former glory.
In 2002, the company moved into a much larger, purpose-built facility that offered enough working space and developments in efficiency. Hanwei currently has more than three hundred workers that create over six hundred items in the sword, knife, and historical weaponry fields. The company never ceases learning and developing new products that relate to more intricate techniques and innovative metallurgy.
Hanwei was among the earliest pioneers in the creation of outstanding and battle-ready katanas at affordable prices for martial artists and collectors. Although there are now many fierce rivals in this industry, Paul Chen's Hanwei Forge is arguably the number one creator of the finest yet affordable Japanese style swords available in the market these days. In fact, Hanwei continues to progress into a mainstay of the Sword buying community and expanded their products to also include European designs.
Take note though, that some of Hanwei's outstanding pieces such as the "Great Wave Wakizashi" SH5002 and Wind Thunder Tanto SH5003 have already been discontinued in production; however, their matching swords from the series are still available. So if you wish to own the 3 piece set of each style, these two items (available from our site) are the last available ones. Don't miss your chance of owning these rare, last pieces!
1 * Cotton sword bag
1 * Sword certificate
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