'Double Dragons' Clarence Mackay Sui Dao was inspired by a rare Sui Dynasty (581 - 618) Dao in the Arms and Armor collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Discovered in 1930 in a royal burial ground outside the Sui Dynasty eastern capital city of Luoyang. 'Double Dragons' Clarence Mackay Sui Dao is a rare example of Sui Dynasty weapon and considered by many a National Treasure. This Sui Dao was brought to New York by Japanese antique dealer Yamanaka Sadajirō and purchased by Irish American Telecommunication Pioneer Clarence H. Mackay (1874-1938) as a gift to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It has been in the Arms and Armor collection for the last 90 years.
Clarence Mackay Sui Dao preserved the classic tradition of the Han Dao with a Ring Pommel. The exquisite ring pommel feature a "Double Dragons Chasing a flaming Pearl" motif, that was reserved for the Royal court and officials of senior standing. The blade is straight, sturdy and designed for piercing heavy armor popular at the time rather than cutting soft targets.
The double hung scabbard fitting is based on the design of Iranian Sabers, showing the foreign design influence coming through the Silk Road. The double hang rings enable to Dao to hang horizontally from the body, making this Dao suited for horse riding, demonstrating the ascendance of heavy calvary at the time.
Blade only weight: 700 g (1 lb 8.69 oz)
Sword only weight: approx. 958 g (2 lb 1.8 oz)
Blade Length: 80 cm (31.5")
Handle Length: 20.0 cm (7.9") Extend Handle Edition
Handle Length: 14.5 cm (5.7") Original Length Handle Edition
Ring Length: 5.8 cm (2.28")
Total Length: 105.8 cm (41.65") Extend Handle Edition
Total Length: 100.3 cm (39.53") Original Length Handle Edition
POB off hand guard: 12 cm (4.7")
Width at hand guard: 25 mm, Width at tip: 19 mm
Thickness: 7.0 mm - 3 mm at the tip
Blade cross section profile: straight with chisel edge
Blade length wide profile: straight blade with round tip.
Folded pattern steel: 1065 carbon steel + T8 tungsten-cobalt-vanadium high-speed tool steel.
Superior heat treatment: Hardness 58 HRC. Blade rebounds to true after 80-90 degree bending, Cut bamboo with ease.
Hand polish to mirror shine and keen sharp edge.
Industrial precision casting bronze double dragon pommel, cloud head shape hand guard.
Solid brass for the rest of the fitting to give a subtle two tone effect.
High quality ebony handle. Furniture grade Rosewood scabbard. Create an understated but stunning contrasting effect.
Fit and finish
We perfected the fit and finish of our swords and the assembly is meticulously performed by our senior craft masters. Sui Dao has 18 pieces of fittings and the assembly is complex. It takes two working days for a craftsman to assemble this Dao.
This rare footage of the MET around the time Clarance Mackay gifted the Sui Dao