This impressive 19th Century Dao probably hails from Vietnam, although as with all such swords, it bears many similarities to those from China. I am hedging my bets with this one as it is also very similar to a Chinese Quing Dynasty (19th Century) Chuan Wei Dao. I am leaning more towards it being Vietnamese but it could be either. It was sold to me as being Chinese.
The majority of Chinese Dao or Dadao have a straight as opposed to concave forward edge and a rounded or “S” shaped guard with a rattan bound grip. Vietnamese Dao are also usually of higher quality, the Dao in China being a mass produced militia weapon with its origins as a farm implement.
This hand forged Dao has a heavy and sharp 448mm blade with a 6mm flat spine. The blade is 47mm wide at the ricasso and 84mm at its widest. The blade is in very good condition with a pleasing patina.
The cord wrapped grip is 386mm long and consists of the blade’s tang, which also forms the circular end to the grip, encased in wood and bound with cord. The cord is intricately knotted along the spine of the grip.