Steel trident with the outer two spikes flat and slightly angular, and the central spike with a median ridge. Attached to a long wooden shaft painted in crimson which is set into a long socket of circular section, with three discs and two rings loosely attached atop a diamond-shaped stopper. The shaft is secured in the socket by a nail.
The collector, George Edward Pereira, was born in 1865 in London and joined the Grenadier Guards in 1884. In 1899 he was seconded to the recently formed Chinese regiment at Wei-hai-wei. In 1900 he fought at Tientsin and in the relief of the legations at Peking. After a year touring Northeast China he rejoined his battalion in South Africa. In 1904 Pereira was appointed temporary military attaché to the British minister in South Korea, Japan and then China. He spent the following years making several long journeys in China. In 1921, aged 54, lame and in poor health, he set out to Lhasa. He left Peking in January and crossed many provinces, finally arriving at Lhasa in October 1922. He was housed by the Tibetan commander-in-chief and met the Dalai Lama. He reached Calcutta in December and was treated in hospital there for thrombosis. In January 1923 Pereira left Calcutta to explore the Tibetan-Szechwan border but died from gastric ulcers in Kanze, about 30 miles from the border, on 20 October 1923. His journeys on foot in China covered almost 45,000 miles. He carried out much important survey work, and his reports and maps were of great value to the British Government.