Journey through history with antique sword
An exhibition of 99 ancient swords recently opened in Hanoi, offering
a chance to learn more about history’s most popular weapon.
were selected from the private 300-sword collection owned by collector
Four generations of Hien’s family have maintained and added to the
collection. “By collecting and preserving ancient Vietnamese artefacts,
especially those relating to the defence of our nation, every member of
family has demonstrated their love for the country,” Hien said.
exhibition features a large array of swords, including 37 that were made
Vietnam. The others came from different countries, including China,
and the UK.
Each scabbard is decorated with unique and sophisticated
patterns, including typical ancient royal Vietnamese designs like pine
daisies, bamboo, apricots and dragons.
Hien said almost all of the
Vietnamese swords in his collection date from three centuries ago.
collector was visibly filled with pride when he talked about one of his
Samurai sword, which is considered as one of the “stars” of the
2.02m-long and 18kg sword is the biggest and longest in his collection.
According to Hien, the 18th century sword was made out of very special
steel. “A very complicated refining technique was necessary to create
long sword. For this reason, long swords were very rare,” he said.
valuable collection also includes a bayonet with a solid golden handle,
two 17th-century royal swords covered with Han Chinese characters, and a
1,500-year-old Cham sword.
Historian Duong Trung Quoc said: “The unique
sword collection has a historical value which is much more significant
American visitor Brian Brousseau said the exhibition
was “beautiful and interesting”. However, he added that the displays
be more organised because “it is difficult for people to know detailed
information, such as which swords were made in Vietnam”.
number of informational captions about the history of each sword
another Vietnamese visitor.
“All I can do is look at the swords and
admire them, but there are no stories to go alongside the experience,”
However, she was still interested in taking the time to enjoy
“Before I only knew about swords from TV, movies and the
theatre, which are usually all the same. Here I see that there are many
differences in their shapes and decorations,” she said.
also includes five bronze drums from the Dong Son civilisation which
to 3,000 years ago.
The exhibition will last until the end of May at the
Museum of Military History, 28A Dien Bien Phu Street, Hanoi./.