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A Superior Edo Period Samurai Maedate Helmet Adornment of an Oni Demon

A maedate is a samurai adornment crest that affixes to the front of his armour helmet kabuto. They were removable and could be transferred to other helmets. Shown on a helmet kabuto for illustration puposes only. The maedate at its widest is 10.5 inches across. Although pricipally made as a samurai's helmet adornment they are highly collecatable in their own right as object d'art for display as fine Japanese works of art from the great Edo period of samurai history. Kabuto is a type of helmet first used by ancient Japanese warriors, and in later periods, they became an important part of the traditional Japanese armour worn by the samurai class and their retainers in feudal Japan. Japanese helmets dating from the fifth century (long before the rise of the samurai class) have been found in excavated tombs. Called mabizashi-tsuke kabuto (visor-attached helmet), the style of these ancient helmets came from China and Korea and they had a pronounced central ridge.

The kabuto was an important part of the equipment of the samurai, and played a symbolic role as well, which may explain the Japanese expressions, sayings and codes related to them. One example is Katte kabuto no o o shimeyo ( "Tighten the string of the kabuto after winning the war"). This means don't lower your efforts after succeeding (compare to "not to rest on one's laurels"). Also, kabuto o nugu ( "to take off the kabuto") means to surrender


Note that in Japanese language the word kabuto is an appellative, not a type description, and can refer to any combat helmet.
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. The shogunate was officially established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868, after the fall of Edo.

Code: 20681

1350.00 GBP


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A Japanese Edo Period Lacquered Harikake Court Cap Form Helmet Naga-Eboshi

A most beautiful Japanese black lacquered harikake helmet kabuto, for use on parades, purposefully made without neck defences. In the form of a courtier's hat (naga-eboshi), the peak, and rear band has intricate gold lacquered scrolling Karakusa [Chinese grasses], and decorated with seven gilt metal religious cross mons with four ivy leaf terminals, fukigayeshi lacquered with the same mon of religious cross mon with four ivy leaf terminals, red lacquered interior, original red fabric lining and white padded straps. Kabuto are a type of helmet first used by samurai. Harikake kabuto used papier-m?ch?, or leather mixed with lacquer, to build the elaborate decoration. A picture in the gallery of a statue in Japan of Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) who was the first of Japan?s three great unifiers at the end of the Sengoku (warring states). He is wearing this very form of cap while in full armour. Kabuto are often adorned with crests called datemono or tatemono; the four types of decorations were the maedate (frontal decoration), wakidate (side decorations), kashiradate (top decoration), and ushirodate (rear decoration). These can be family crests (mon), or flat or sculptural objects representing animals, mythical entities, prayers or other symbols. Horns are particularly common, and many kabuto incorporate kuwagata, stylized deer horns. This helmet has a maedate hook with which the samurai could mount his family mon maedate. The left side facing fukegaeshi with clan mon [front temple winged ear] has a bend that cannot be unbent due to its lacquered hide material of construction with areas of lacquer loss. Some bottom section rim edging throughout is now exposed. All its small lacquer imperfections are due to its age, and ideally should be left just as is. The upper helmet bowl's lacquer is excellent overall.

Code: 22215

2950.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Antique Suit of Original Edo Period Samurai Gosuku Armour

Edo period 1598-1863. Completely untouched for the past 200 years. With shinari kabuto [acorn shaped helmet] of built up lacquer over iron construction. With fully laced shikoro [neck armour lames]. Open hanbo face guard, with laced nodowa [throat armour]. Dark brown lacquer thin plates with full lacing to the do in maru-do type form [breast plate without hinge, single side opening]. Chain mail over silk kote [arm armour] with plate tekko [hand armour]. Fully laced and plate sode [shoulder armour] Fully laced four panels of haidate [waist armour] Fully laced kasazuri [thigh armour], without lower suneate. The armour is trimmed in printed and decorated doe skin and all the connection fittings are in traditional carved horn. This armour is absolutely beautiful. It's condition is very good indeed apart from some areas of lacquer wear to the helmet [but this we can attend to], some silk perishing on part of the thigh armour top section, and some colour fading to one hand armour lacquer. Japanese armour is thought to have evolved from the armour used in ancient China and Korea. Cuirasses and helmets were manufactured in Japan as early as the 4th century.Tanko, worn by foot soldiers and keiko, worn by horsemen were both pre-samurai types of early Japanese cuirass constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs.

During the Heian period 794 to 1185 the Japanese cuirass evolved into the more familiar style of armour worn by the samurai known as the dou or do. Japanese armour makers started to use leather (nerigawa) and lacquer was used to weather proof the armor parts. By the end of the Heian period the Japanese cuirass had arrived at the shape recognized as being distinctly samurai. Leather and or iron scales were used to construct samurai armours, with leather and eventually silk lace used to connect the individual scales (kozane) which these cuirasses were now being made from.

In the 16th century Japan began trading with Europe during what would become known as the Nanban trade. Samurai acquired European armour including the cuirass and comb morion which they modified and combined with domestic armour as it provided better protection from the newly introduced matchlock muskets known as Tanegashima. The introduction of the tanegashima by the Portuguese in 1543 changed the nature of warfare in Japan causing the Japanese armour makers to change the design of their armours from the centuries old lamellar armours to plate armour constructed from iron and steel plates which was called tosei gusoku (new armours).Bullet resistant armours were developed called tameshi gusoku or (bullet tested) allowing samurai to continue wearing their armour despite the use of firearms.

The era of warfare called the Sengoku period ended around 1600, Japan was united and entered the peaceful Edo period, samurai continued to use both plate and lamellar armour as a symbol of their status but traditional armours were no longer necessary for battles. During the Edo period light weight, portable and secret hidden armours became popular as there was still a need for personal protection. Civil strife, duels, assassinations, peasant revolts required the use of armours such as the kusari katabira (chain armour jacket) and armoured sleeves as well as other types of armour which could be worn under ordinary clothing.Edo period samurai were in charge of internal security and would wear various types of kusari gusoku (chain armour) and shin and arm protection as well as forehead protectors (hachi-gane).

Armour continued to be worn and used in Japan until the end of the samurai era (Meiji period) in the 1860s, with the last use of samurai armour happening in 1877 during the Satsuma Rebellion. This is one of the most attractive ones we have had since we supplied two full antique gosuko, with eight museum grade katana and tachi, to a world famous oligarch for a Japanese themed stateroom on his 600 million dollar superyacht.

Code: 22649

12950.00 GBP


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Suit Of Samurai Gesoku Armour. Shown with a Harikake Court Cap Form Helmet Naga-Eboshi and Demon Maedate Crest

The helmet, armour and helmet crest can all be purchased separately but priced together here now. the helmet is shown on its own, under stock number 22215, with a maedate [clan helmet crest] also stock number 20681 and sold separately. The price shown is for all three complete, armour helmet and helmet crest. The armour alone is £5950, the helmet alone is £2950 and the maedate crest is £1350. In our opinion there is no greater aesthetically attractive suit of antique original armour to compare to the Japanese samurai armour. One can see them displayed in some of the finest locations of interior decor in the world today.

For example, in the Hollywood movies such as the James Bond films many of the main protagonists in those films decorated their lush and extravagant billionaire properties with samurai armours. They can be so dramatic and beautiful and even the simplest example can look spectacular in any correct location with good lighting. We even decorated a Russian billionaires yacht with samurai armours for a few of state rooms within the ship, they look truly incredible yet they were all relatively inexpensive compared to their European equivalent, that today can run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Edo period. Chain mail over silk Kote [arm armour] with plate Tekko [hand armour]. Fully laced and plate Sode [shoulder armour] Fully laced four panels of Haidate [waist armour] Fully laced Kasazuri [thigh Armour], with Suneate.
This armour is absolutely beautiful. Japanese armour is thought to have evolved from the armour used in ancient China and Korea. Cuirasses and helmets were manufactured in Japan as early as the 4th century.Tanko, worn by foot soldiers and keiko, worn by horsemen were both pre-samurai types of early Japanese cuirass constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs.

During the Heian period 794 to 1185 the Japanese cuirass evolved into the more familiar style of armour worn by the samurai known as the dou or do. Japanese armour makers started to use leather (nerigawa) and lacquer was used to weather proof the armor parts. By the end of the Heian period the Japanese cuirass had arrived at the shape recognized as being distinctly samurai. Leather and or iron scales were used to construct samurai armours, with leather and eventually silk lace used to connect the individual scales (kozane) which these cuirasses were now being made from.

In the 16th century Japan began trading with Europe during what would become known as the Nanban trade. Samurai acquired European armour including the cuirass and comb morion which they modified and combined with domestic armour as it provided better protection from the newly introduced matchlock muskets known as Tanegashima. The introduction of the tanegashima by the Portuguese in 1543 changed the nature of warfare in Japan causing the Japanese armour makers to change the design of their armours from the centuries old lamellar armours to plate armour constructed from iron and steel plates which was called tosei gusoku (new armours).Bullet resistant armours were developed called tameshi gusoku or (bullet tested) allowing samurai to continue wearing their armour despite the use of firearms.

The era of warfare called the Sengoku period ended around 1600, Japan was united and entered the peaceful Edo period, samurai continued to use both plate and lamellar armour as a symbol of their status but traditional armours were no longer necessary for battles. During the Edo period light weight, portable and secret hidden armours became popular as there was still a need for personal protection. Civil strife, duels, assassinations, peasant revolts required the use of armours such as the kusari katabira (chain armour jacket) and armoured sleeves as well as other types of armour which could be worn under ordinary clothing.Edo period samurai were in charge of internal security and would wear various types of kusari gusoku (chain armour) and shin and arm protection as well as forehead protectors (hachi-gane).

Armour continued to be worn and used in Japan until the end of the samurai era (Meiji period) in the 1860s, with the last use of samurai armour happening in 1877 during the Satsuma Rebellion. The armour has some affixing loops lacking. Stand for photo display only not included. This armour has areas of worn and distressed lacquer and areas of cloth/material that are perished due to it's great age as would be expected, but the condition simply adds to its beauty and aesthetic quality, displaying its position within its combat use in Japanese samurai warfare. We would always recommend, in our subjective opinion, that original antique samurai armour looks its very best left completely as is, with all it wear and age imperfections left intact.

Code: 21624

10200.00 GBP


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A Fine Japanese Shinto Aikuchi Tanto Circa 240 Years Old Silvered Fittings

An extremely sophisticated and elegant tanto, of stunning simplicity. With silvered kogai The kogai is actually two pieces ("warikogai") that can be used as chopsticks. Tsuka bound in thin strands of beleen. Gold foiled habaki. All original Edo period fittings and lacquer, Edo polish. Deep gunome hamon. Gilt chrysanthemum mekugi ana roundels. The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade can be single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged in hira-zukuri style (without ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri structure of a katana. Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armour-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi. Small foil area of the habaki lacking. The old lacquer on the saya has old comtempoary wear marks etc. Overall 12.5 inches long, blade around 8 inches long

Code: 22202

3550.00 GBP


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A Most Attractive 500 Plus Year Old Samurai Katana Offered For Below Our Cost, With All Original Edo Mounts, Totally Untouched For Likely 200 Years Or More

As this item is offered below cost it does not qualify for any additional discounts. Recently arrived in a superb 26 samurai sword collection. As before, we chose a very nice Koto period katana, and offered it below cost as a thank you to our regular loyal customers [and that indeed quickly sold ] and a ‘below cost’ tanto, we added as well, also just sold to its lucky new owner. This is super koto katana that we have decided to do the very same, as we promised. It is offered at below our cost, and an absolute beauty. Completely untouched or even cleaned for up to 200+ years, since it came from Japan to England in around 1870 in the reign of emperor Meiji. mounted in all its original Edo period mounts and saya. Higo iron fushigashira mounts, decorated with takebori gold aoi leaves. Iron tsuba with pierced sukashi mon. The saya lacquer is, beautiful, in two shades of black with an intricate fine rainfall pattern within the design. tHe menuki under the edo silk binding, are patinated takebori flowers with pure gold highlights. The blade is totally grey, with a lightly scratched surface and unpolished, yet shows a fabulous undulating hamon pattern of considerable depth. Samurai endured for almost 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. Samurai families were considered the elite. They made up only about six percent of the population and included daimyo and the loyal soldiers who fought under them. Samurai means one who serves."

Samurai were expected to be both fierce warriors and lovers of art, a dichotomy summed up by the Japanese concepts of bu [to stop the spear] exanding into bushido (the way of life of the warrior) and bun (the artistic, intellectual and spiritual side of the samurai). Originally conceived as away of dignifying raw military power, the two concepts were synthesised in feudal Japan and later became a key feature of Japanese culture and morality. The quintessential samurai was Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary early Edo-period swordsman who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday and was also a painting master. Members of a hierarchal class or caste, samurai were the sons of samurai and they were taught from an early age to unquestionably obey their mother, father and daimyo. When they grew older they may be trained by Zen Buddhist masters in meditation and the Zen concepts of impermanence and harmony with nature. The were also taught about painting, calligraphy, nature poetry, mythological literature, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony. 40 inches long overall. 28.5 inch long blade, from tsuba to tip. The blade is perfectly fine to leave as is or we can arrange re-polishing in the future.

Code: 23728

3450.00 GBP


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An Exceptional Imperial Japanese WW2 Silk Flag, Souvenir of WW2 From a Former British Regimental Officer's Mess

In very good condition indeed overall. Excellent silk with leather strengthening corners. From a collection of 3 Gurkha kukri and 1 Japanese flag we have just acquired and we are selling separately.It was formerly on display, framed, [which superbly protected it] on the walls of a regimental officer's mess along with a 3 original Gurkha kukris [two WW2 one WW1].They were all formerly on display on the walls of a [defunct in 1968] regimental officer's mess [the Royal Warwickshire Regt, and these items were removed when it merged in 1968, after it become part of the Fusilier Brigade in 1963]. This is the orange disc circle on a plain white ground. Since ancient times, the sun has been a symbol of national unity because of the close relationship between national rule and the sun. When Taira was destroyed and the samurai government was established by Genji, successive shoguns claimed to be descendants of Genji, and it was said that the Hinomaru of "Shirachikamaru", [red circle on white background] had been inherited as a symbol of those who achieved the unification of the country. In Japan, "red and white" has been regarded as a joyous colour scheme

Code: 23720

210.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Shinto Tanto With Finest Shakudo Mounts of the Four Treasures of Calligraphy.

The blade beautifully polished. A true all original Edo period. 18th century museum grade samurai dagger and work of art combined. The dagger is based on the samurai martial art of calligraphy combined with the god Fukurokujo who used calligraphy to amuse the seven gods of fortune. His image is engraved on the kozuka handle. A truly fabulous and beautiful Japanese samurai art sword in every sense. Japanese samurai training included arts as well as combat. Shodo, or the Way of Calligraphy, is one of the arts in traditional Japanese samurai education. A most fine tanto with stunning and finest fittings of calligraphy, all ensuite in multi colour patinated shakudo with water pot, brushes, ink making tools etc. With its original complimentary Edo period finest ribbed saya of hardened leather, over lacquered, [achieved with incredibly intense and complex work] with a matching shakudo bottom mount, and gold mimi rimed shakudo tsuba. The shakudo kozuka is engraved with a profile figure of Fukurokujo with his most distinctive high forehead.
God of Wealth, Happiness, Longevity "Four Treasures of the Study" is an expression used to refer to the ink brush, inkstick, paper and inkstone used in Japanese and Chinese calligraphy and painting. The name stems from the time of the Chinese Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD). Brushes and ink are two of the legendary ?Four Treasures of the Study? tools of Chinese calligraphers, painters and poets over thousands of years. The other vital elements of culture are the rice paper (zhi), and the inkstone (yan) for grinding the solidified inksticks. Brushes are made of animal hair, usually attached to a bamboo stick. Various kinds of animal hair were once used, like goat, ox, rabbit, sheep, marten, badger, deer, wolf, each having certain properties. They can be categorized by their size: large, medium and small; and also by the strength: soft (usually taken from goat), medium (taken from rabbit, or a mixture of goat and weasel hair) and hard or stiff (taken from weasel tail). Hair of different animals can be combined to create different textures.
The ink (mo) is commonly made by burning pine or another wood in an earthenware container, mixing dense ash with glue, and compressing it into an ink stick, or another form. An unusual antique piece of ink is shaped like a ruyi, a scepter tribute offering, that conveys wishes for happiness and good fortune. After shaping, it takes about two years for the ink to dry, in a totally dry and dark environment.
Paper is usually made from parts of the rice plant, like rice straw or rice flour. The paper in the old days is very thin and light. Thus it can adsorb ink easily.

An inkstone is literally a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink. Traditional Chinese ink is usually solidified into sticks for easier transport and preservation. Water is usually kept in a ceramic container and sprinkled on the inkstone, which has a generally flat surface. The inkstick would be ground with the flat surface of the inkstone. By mixing ink with different amounts of water, the calligrapher or artist can create different densities and innumerable shades of black and gray. The artist?s energy is expressed through the brush as a swordsman?s is expressed through the weapon. They are both expressions of the mind and aim towards a perfection of bodily motion, from the grip of an object to the execution of the movement with the necessary flow and speed to achieve the result. One mistake in calligraphy and the scroll must be thrown away; the ink is black and permanent. So too, one mistake in a fight, and the samurai will die. Picture in the gallery of Hokusai (Japanese, 1760?1849) Title:
Bateiseki. Arrangement of writing utensils. Another picture is from the Five poems, by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka ?1839-1892).
Here Fukufokuju uses his elongated forehead to write calligraphy while the others look on gleefully.
One of the seven is perched beneath Fukurokuju?s head, peeking at the canvas. Shakudo is a billon of gold and copper (typically 4-10% gold, 96-90% copper) which can be treated to form an indigo/black patina resembling lacquer. Unpatinated shakudo Visually resembles bronze; the dark colour is induced by applying and heating rokusho, a special patination formula.

Shakudo Was historically used in Japan to construct or decorate katana fittings such as tsuba, menuki, and kozuka; as well as other small ornaments. Overall 15 inches long, blade length 9 inches to tsuba

Code: 22197

3850.00 GBP


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An Ancient Han Dachi Mounted Samurai Koto Period Katana up to 600 Years Old

Completely untouched and even cleaned for 150 years, since it came from Japan to England 150 years ago in the reign of emperor Meiji. Made during the late Nambokochu 1333 to 1391 period, to the early Muramachi period, that dates from 1392 to 1573. Han dachi mounted, with a very nice, original Edo period, matching suite of full mounts with gold and silver tendrils inlaid over iron. Round iron tsuba with inlays, a verey healthy and fine totally grey blade, and gold silk tsuka-ito over bronze menuki. Original ishime stone finish lacquer saya. Han-dachi originally appeared during the Muromachi period when there was a transition taking place from Tachi to katana. The sword was being worn more and more edge up when on foot, but edge down on horseback as it had always been. The handachi is a response to the need to be worn in either style. The samurai were roughly the equivalent of feudal knights. Employed by the shogun or daimyo, they were members of hereditary warrior class that followed a strict "code" that defined their clothes, armour and behaviour on the battlefield. But unlike most medieval knights, samurai warriors could read and they were well versed in Japanese art, literature and poetry.
Samurai endured for almost 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. Samurai families were considered the elite. They made up only about six percent of the population and included daimyo and the loyal soldiers who fought under them. Samurai means one who serves."

Samurai were expected to be both fierce warriors and lovers of art, a dichotomy summed up by the Japanese concepts of bu [to stop the spear] expanding into bushido (the way of life of the warrior) and bun (the artistic, intellectual and spiritual side of the samurai). Originally conceived as away of dignifying raw military power, the two concepts were synthesised in feudal Japan and later became a key feature of Japanese culture and morality. The quintessential samurai was Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary early Edo-period swordsman who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday. Some may prefer to leave this sword untouched and exactly as is to show its great age, others may prefer to restore it, using our world renown expert artisans, to make look as it once did.

Code: 23713

5995.00 GBP


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A Simply Magnificent 17th Century Soten Mounted Museum Grade Katana

This is a most stunning high ranking samurai's sword. Made and used at the beginning of the great Japanese Edo period. The blade has a wonderous hamon, shown in all it's beauty. All of the fittings are very fine and the overall effect is simply wonderfull. A singularly fine quality katana, with a full suite of, original, Edo period, signed Soten, gold and patinated copper fittings. This is truly a sword of great beauty, worthy of any museum grade collection. The saya is original Edo period in black lacquer. A revolution took place in the centuries from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which coexisted with the Tenno's court, to the Tokugawa, when the bushi became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of government. Instrumental in the rise of the new bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Already powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kant? area. He maintained 2.5 million koku of land, new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town (the future Tokyo), and also had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved quickly to seize control from the Toyotomi family.

Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyo at the Battle of Sekigahara (October 21, 1600, or in the Japanese calendar on the 15th day of the ninth month of the fifth year of the Keich? era) gave him virtual control of all Japan. He rapidly abolished numerous enemy daimyo houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, and redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyo, but his assumption of the title of shogun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada (1579?1632) as shogun and himself as retired shogun in 1605. The Toyotomi were still a significant threat, and Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka.

The Tokugawa (or Edo) period brought 250 years of stability to Japan. The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han (domains) to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shogun had national authority and the daimyo had regional authority. This represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an increasingly large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, and a land assessment system reaping great revenues. As Japan entered the more peaceful Edo Period (1603-1868), tsuba and sword fittings became increasingly elaborate and decorative in design and function, and their manufacture became highly specialised and technically advanced. Different schools of makers developed their own styles, often influenced by the culture and environment of the region, and the role of the tsuba and mounts extended to become an elaborate piece of art. Subjects for decoration included Japanese mythology, history and nature. Since the 16th century, it was customary for the guard and mounts to feature the signature of the maker. The katana's saya has a few small Edo period contact marks throughout. It could be re-lacqured to as new condition if it was required by its new owner or left original as is. Valued for their excellence in design and execution, sword fittings today exist as refined pieces of art, and although now only used for state occasions and consecrations, the Japanese sword and its fittings remain a symbol of authority and reminder of Japan's powerful, and at times tumultuous, samurai past. Blade 30.3 inches long tip to tsuba, sword length 40 inches out of saya. 41 inches long overall.

Code: 22994

9995.00 GBP


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