The present lot belongs to a small group of swords that were popular in the Northern regions of ancient China, recognizable by its characteristic intricate openwork handle adorned with turquoise inlay. See a closely related bronze sword, missing its scabbard, attributed to the Spring and Autumn period, excavated in Anyingpu, Huailai county, Hebei province, published in Zheng Shaozong, 'Zhongguo beifang qingtong duanjian de fenqi ji xingzhi yanjiu [Study of the short swords from the Northern regions in China]', Wenwu, no. 2, Beijing, 1984, pl. 5, no. 8, where the author notes swords of this particular type were found in the Rehe mountain regions and Yanbei regions, and were heavily influenced by the sword styles from the central region during the Western Zhou to Spring and Autumn period.
Compare a very similar bronze sword, without its scabbard, from the collection of J.W. Alsdorf, exhibited in Arts of the Chou Dynasty, Stanford University Museum, Stanford, 1958, cat. no. 159; and another, without its scabbard, but with turquoise inlay preserved, exhibited in The Glorious Traditions of Chinese Bronzes, Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore, 2000, cat. no. 40. See also a related bronze sword of a smaller size, with a similarly decorated handle but in low relief, from the David David-Weill Collection, sold in our Paris rooms, 16th December 2015, lot 47; and a further example, with the handle cast with a intertwined dragon design, together with a silver scabbard similarly decorated, formerly in the Sakamoto Collection, published in Takayasu Higuchi and Minao Hayashi, Ancient Chinese Bronzes in the Sakamoto Collection, Tokyo, 2002, pl. 15.