Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (474-221 B.C.E.)
18 x 1 x 1.875 inches
The jian seen here is another well-known weapon of the Warring States period. When not in use, the double-edge sword hung securely in place at the soldier's waist, safely concealed in an ivory or bone or sometimes wooden sheath. Silk wound around the sword's hilt provided an effective grip. Armed with a jian and protected by thick leather armor and a heavy bronze helmet, horse soldiers might ride confidently into battle.
Hong, pp. 36-125
--K. Johnson Bowles, 2006, Reflecting Centuries of Beauty: The Rowe Collection of Chinese Art