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20% Amazing Special Anniversary Discount!!!

Back due to incredible demand from our regulars, On this Fabulous Anniversary year, of David's 40th year at The Lanes Armoury, by way of a special thank you, we are offering for a brief period a huge 20% discount on all of our diverse collection.
Save an incredible 2000 gbp on every 10000 gbp, or, 200 gbp on every 1,000 gbp, or 20 on each 100 gbp etc. that you spend!

IMPORTANT!!, our basket system DOES NOT show the 20% discount, so contact us on 01273 321357 or 07721010085 or email us direct, if you want to buy with a card and we can re adjust the price online accordingly, or, we can send you a complimentary 20% of the purchase value Gift Voucher

Please note * The 20% Discount does NOT apply as well to any items that are already especially discounted ie Price Drop

Code: 23909


A Japanese WW2 Officer’s Katana With a Circa 450 year old Antique Ancestral Blade, and Type 94 Military Mounts

It has lain untouched since its return as a trophy of war in 1945. Combat covered saya, regulation type 94 shingunto military mounts, leather combat covered steel scabbard, tsuke and tsuba. Koto to early shinto blade with good undulating notare hamon, in 85% original polish, just a finger marks and light surface scratching. Very elegant typical koto period blade style. Gold covered habaki with engraved oblique raindrop pattern.
During the Meiji period, the samurai class was gradually disbanded, and the Haitorei Edict in 1876 forbade the carrying of swords in public except for certain individuals such as former samurai lords (daimyōs), the military and police. Skilled swordsmiths had trouble making a living during this period as Japan modernised its military and many swordcsmiths started making other items such as cutlery. Military action by Japan in China and Russia during the Meiji Period helped revive the manufacture of swords and in the Showa period (1926–1989) before and during World War II swords were once again produced on a large scale.

During the pre World War II military buildup and throughout the war, all Japanese officers were required to wear a sword. Traditionally made swords were produced during this period but, in order to supply such large numbers of swords, blacksmiths with little or no knowledge of traditional Japanese sword manufacture were recruited. In addition, supplies of the type of Japanese steel (tamahagane) used for sword making were limited so several other types of steel were substituted. Shortcuts in forging were also taken, such as the use of power hammers and tempering the blade in oil rather than hand forging and water tempering; these measures created swords without the usual characteristics associated with Japanese swords.
however, families of great standing or with samurai backgrounds and ancestry were permitted to allow their son's to wear military mounted swords but containing ancient ancestral blades, usually of great significance to the family's history. this is one of those swords. it was once estimated only 1 in 100 had such historical swords to carry in combat, while serving their divine emperor Hirohito in WW2.

The Type 94 shin gunto ( kyuyon-shiki gunto) officers' sword's mounts replaced the Western style kyu gunto mounts in 1934. It had a traditionally constructed hilt (tsuka) with ray skin (same) wrapped with traditional silk wrapping (ito). A cherry blossom (a symbol of the Imperial Japanese Army) theme was incorporated into the guard (tsuba), pommels (fuchi and kashira), and ornaments (menuki).

The scabbard for the Type 94 was made of metal with a wood lining to protect the blade, and the option of adding a combat leather cover, or, a wooden scabbard covered with combat leather. It was often painted brown and was suspended from two brass mounts, one of which was removable and only used when in full dress uniform. The fittings on the metal scabbard were also decorated with cherry blossom designs. Blade 27.5 inches long tsuba to tip, overall 39.5 inches long

Code: 23908

3495.00 GBP

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An Oriental Bronze 'Okimono' of a Red Headed Centipede that Moves with Articulation

20th century, a most intriguing flexible articulated piece, in nice condition.
Butterflies fluttering over flowers, cicadas buzzing on trees and dragonflies darting across rice fields — insects have long been symbols of different seasons in Japan. In China they are also considered lucky omens due to their delicate and mystical appearances. Chinese ideology and Western sketching and painting techniques have helped Japan foster many forms of expression in depicting insects. The giant centipedes in Japanese folklore are the result of the Divine Dragon’s immortality-granting waters These monstrous centipedes have a basis in real-life: the mukade, or giant poisonous centipede, which is native to Japan. There are, like all mythical insects,there are numerous tales about supersized variants. Whilst the real centipedes grow to a maximum of twenty centimeters, their mythical yōkai counterparts known as ōmukade are said to be able to grow to titanic proportions, with elder variants coiling themselves around mountain ranges and scaring off even the dragons.

Pictures of Japanese insect art in the gallery

Tawara Toda killing the giant centipede by Toyohara Chikanobu

Katydid (Umaoi-mushi) and Centipede, (Mukade), from the Picture Book of Crawling Creatures (Ehon mushi erami)

A red lacquered saddle decorated with a centipede in Osaka Museum

15.5cm long measured straight.

Code: 23907

145.00 GBP

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An Ancient and Beautiful Signed Wakazashi Around 700 Years Old

It has a signed Nambokocho period blade, but try as we might, as it is in an ancient shortened nakago kanji, at present we simply can't translate it. This fabulous sword is in it's original, Edo period, stunning, shakudo and pure gold decorated fushikashira, and the original edo black lacquer saya has, within its pocket, a shakudo and pure gold decorated kozuke [utility knife] decorated with birds perched on a straw hat and a pair of tools, all on a nanako ground. The menuki are also shakudo of chisseled clouds bearing a pair of pure gold decor dragon of stunning quality. All the koshirae fittings and mounts are original Edo period. Its habaki a pure gold foiled covered habaki, matched with a pair of gold foil covered seppa. A pure gold foiled habaki is created, first by hand making a bespoke copper habaki [to fit over the blade's nakago, above the tsuba] and a small billet of solid gold is then hand hammered, in order to become a thickened, flat, small sheet of gold [about 100 times thicker than aluminium cooking foil] then it is formed around the habaki and sealed with heat so there no visible seam. The habaki's pure gold surface was then engraved with an oblique, rain fall pattern, upon its slightly curved surface on both sides. The seppa [washer type supports either side of tsuba hand guard] are similarly pure gold foil overlaid, made in the very same way as the habaki, with a small sheet of hammered gold overlaid over the copper oval seppa base. Interestingly, it would likely be less expensive to make the habaki in solid gold, but pure gold is very soft indeed, and it needs the copper base to maintain its strength. A most interesting point regarding old samurai swords, is when blades have been mounted and fitted with a pure gold hammered foil habaki, it represented that a sword that was very highly prized indeed, either due to its superior maker, or, more likely its highly significant history within the family of its ownership. For example, regarding the cost of bespoke making a pure gold foiled habaki, in order to replace it, if a skilled enough artisan could actually be found in order to recreate one, it would cost somewhere in the region of two thousand pounds plus. Of course that is not to say its habaki is actually worth two thousand pounds, but it would likely cost that, or more, to replace it. Each of its two seppa would also be around four hundred pounds each. The swords hilt mounts are decorated in traditional Japanese shakudo. Japanese traditional 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. The tsuka is wrapped in its original Edo period two colour silk tsukaito [binding], it is worn, naturally, but completely original

When the Nanboku-cho era conflict broke out, vassalage ties became more serious. During the relatively peaceful Kamakura period, military skills were not placed at a premium, but after the outbreak of civil war this criterion became the most important one. A new intermediary consideration emerged in the vassalage ties of the post 1336 environment: the need for loyalty and a tighter tie between lord and vassal. The tighter ties between the shogun and his vassals emerged as a result of the need for military action against rivals. Vassalage ties were either established by the Ashikaga or there was a risk of losing a potential warrior to another warrior hierarchy controlled, at best, by emerging shugo lords loyal to the Ashikaga, and at worst by rival imperialist generals. So, in a true sense, vassalage ties during the civil war period were used to bridge potential conflict through the recruitment of warriors.

At the same time that vassalage ties tightened between samurai and shogun, the legitimacy of these ties were sorely tested. This apparent paradox is logically explained by the existence of many claims to samurai loyalty that were presented: towards rival imperialist generals, shugo lords, and even towards local samurai alliances.

A few examples will illustrate the emergence of vassalage ties between the shogun Ashikaga Takauji and his new housemen. The Kobayakawa family became loyal vassals when they were entrusted with defending Ashikaga interests in the province of Aki Province after Takauji had retreated to Kyushu in 1336. Another Aki samurai family, the Mori clan, became vassals of Takauji in 1336, and served under Ko Moroyasu until the outbreak of the Kanno Incident. In the 1350s, the Mori sided with the enemies of Takauji, Tadayoshi and his adopted son Tadafuyu, and not until the 1360s were they back again as vassals of the shogun. Vassalage ties to the Kawashima clan and other warrior families near Kyoto were established by Takauji in the summer of 1336 in the latter's drive to retake the capital. The Kawashima case is of considerable interest because of a document pertaining to the terms of vassalage bearing Takauji's signature: they would exchange military service for stewardship rights (jito shiki) over half of Kawashima Estate, leaving the other half in possession of the noble proprietor in the form of rent
The original Edo lacquer on the saya is a little tired in areas but could be expertly restored by us to perfect condition if required. The blade is in very bright and beautiful polish, and, likely due to its great age, the edge hamon probably finishes just a few millimetres before the kissaki.
To us, this reflection of its age and use by up to 40 different samurai in its working life of many hundreds of years, is part of it history, however, such a kissaki imperfection [that has no visual hamon] is, historically, certainly not recommended that the sword is used, once more in modern times, for hand to hand combat, with, or against, a trained samurai, literally, to the death. For if one did such a thing today, there is a possibility that the very tip may, or indeed, may not, fail if it made point-to-edge contact with another blow, from another samurai sword. But, it makes no difference whatsoever to its beauty, quality, history, rarity and, in our opinion, value in its place within the pantheon of samurai history. However, to be absolutely clear, our swords are never, ever, to be used in hand to hand combat [to the death, or otherwise]. They are sold alone for enjoyment of the fabulous beauty and the incredible skills of a tradition long past, and their amazing history, over many hundreds of years, each one has likely enjoyed.

In many respects it is, in our opinion, our greatest privilege to own, even briefly, such incredible pieces of samurai art as this one, to hold in one’s hands an item that has been used by so many noble warriors, for so many hundreds of years, and to look as good as the day it was made, up to 700 years ago is actually remarkable. For example, we have many dozens of steel swords, late medieval, for example, up to between 500 and 700 years old, and certainly some up to 2000 years old, but not from Japan, from Europe, and every one will have signs of great ageing and wear, being very russeted, and certainly no mounts to speak of, and this is totally the norm. In every great collection around the world, all such steel swords from early European history, that have survived as long as these Japanese swords, look just as worn, aged, and tired, compared to just how they once beautifully looked when first made. Not at all so with ancient Japanese swords, that can and do look as good as new, so by comparison, effectively, there is no comparison.
One more example, if we ever found a European sword blade, made around the 1300’s, that looked literally as the day it was made, like this samurai sword, it would be so rare and exceptional it would likely be worth somewhere between one hundred thousand to half a million pounds.
This sword is 21 inches tsuba to tip, overall in its saya it is 28.25 inches

Code: 23906

4150.00 GBP

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SAVE A FABULOUS £3,000 A Powerful Long & Formidable Samurai Shinto Period Katana 18th Century

PRICE DROP!! Part of David's 40th year anniversary special thank you. All original Edo period mounts and black lacquer saya, and a very good mokko shaped tsuba engraved with leaves and flowers with lines of silver inlay. Menuki of dragons. Fully matching suite of mounts to the tsuka and saya. Signed Shumada kami Taira Yoshisuka. The hada is nicely visible under magnification and around one inch from the habaki the obverse blade face has delflected a blow from an enemy arrow and created a tiny impact point. This is an amazing thing to see, in that the arrow impact was remarkably deflected, and otherwise the arrow would without doubt have penetrated the body of its samurai, and likely it would have been a fatal wound. Impacts to blades such as this are much revered and honoured, and if possible not removed in later blade polishing. There is a move in samurai sword combat that is designed to deflect an incoming arrow, which must have been incredibly difficult to execute. The technique is called 'yadome' or 'yadome no jutsu' - the art of cutting or blocking arrows. There are stories of it in Sengoku Japan (and older), it must have required very impressive skill. In the Heike Monogatari (Tale of the Heike), one of the most famous examples of arrow cutting is described:

?Then Gochi-in Tajima, throwing away the sheath of his long naginata, strode forth alone on to the bridge, whereupon the Heike straightaway shot at him fast and furious. Tajima, not at all perturbed, ducking to avoid the higher ones and leaping up over those that flew low, cut through those that flew straight with his whirring naginata, so that even the enemy looked on in admiration. Thus it was that he was dubbed Tajima the arrow-cutter. Some katana can be light and finely balanced to reflect the stature of the samurai who wielded it in combat, others, such as this one, was most certainly for a mighty samurai, either to use on foot in full armour, or in armour on horseback. This is the stature of a sword that could be used against a foe, similarly adorned in full armour, and its power would easily be perfectly suitable against armour in the melee of battle. In original Edo period grey polish showing a straight suguha hamon.Samurai have been describes as "the most strictly trained human instruments of war to have existed." They were expected to be proficient in the martial arts of aikido and kendo as well as swordsmanship and archery---the traditional methods of samurai warfare---which were viewed not so much as skills but as art forms that flowed from natural forces that harmonized with nature.
An individual didn't become a full-fledged samurai until he wandered around the countryside as begging pilgrim for a couple of years to learn humility. When this was completed they achieved samurai status and receives a salary from his daimyo paid from taxes (usually rice) raised from the local populace. Swords in Japan have long been symbols of power and honour and seen as works of art. Often times swordsmiths were more famous than the people who used them. The rise in popularity of katana by samurai is believed to have been due to the changing nature of close-combat warfare. The quicker draw of the sword was well suited to combat where victory depended heavily on fast response times. The katana further facilitated this by being worn thrust through a belt-like sash (obi) with the sharpened edge facing up. Ideally, samurai could draw the sword and strike the enemy in a single motion. Previously, the curved tachi had been worn with the edge of the blade facing down and suspended from a belt. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity. 28.25 inch long blade from the tsuba to tip. This item does not qualify for any additional discounts offered online.

Code: 23061

2995.00 GBP

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SAVE AN INCREDIBLE £1650 A Beautiful and Rare Style of Mounted 600 Year Old Samurai Tanto

Special discount for David’s 40th year. A charming blade, probably mid 15th century. Nambam style fittings with stunning koshirae fully pierced detailing flying cranes and flowers. A super kodsuka in shakudo detailed with cranes. Signed blade to the kozuka. The overall decoration is most unusual in that the lacquer, is convincingly simulating woodgrain, and shows stunningly skilled craftsmanship. The samurai tanto first began to appear in the Heian period, however these blades lacked artistic qualities and were purely weapons. In the Early Kamakura period high quality tanto with artistic qualities began to appear, and the famous Yoshimitsu (the greatest tanto maker in Japanese history) began his forging. Tanto production increased greatly around the Muromachi period and then dropped off in the Shinto period. Shinto period tanto are quite rare. Tanto were mostly carried by Samurai; commoners did not generally carry them. Women sometimes carried a small tanto called a kaiken in their obi for self defence.It was sometimes worn as the shoto in place of a wakizashi in a daisho, especially on the battlefield. Before the 16th century it was common for a Samurai to carry a tachi and a tanto as opposed to a katana and a wakizashi.

Code: 20758

2100.00 GBP

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SAVE AN EXTRAORDINARY £1000. A Koto Muromachi Yoroi Doshi Armour or Helmet Piercing Tanto, Circa 1530

A very thick bladed tanto specifically designed to penetrate using a powerful thrust, either samurai armour or even a helmet. Wide narrow straight sided blade, with a narrow suguha hamon typical of the Koto era. Mounted in a plain wooden shirasaya mount that bears some kanji text on both sides of the tsuka. We have not had this translated yet. The bottom of the saya bears a carved image of a stern face. The yoroi-doshi "armour piercer" or "mail piercer" were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class as a weapon in feudal Japan. The yoroi-d?shi is an extra thick tanto, a long knife, which appeared in the Sengoku period (late Muromachi). The yoroi-doshi was made for piercing armour and for stabbing while grappling in close quarters. The weapon ranged in size from 20 cm to 24 cm, but some examples could be under 15 cm, with a "tapering mihaba, iori-mune, thick kasane at the bottom, and thin kasane at the top and occasionally moroha-zukuri construction". The motogasane (blade thickness) at the hamachi (the notch at the beginning of the cutting edge) can be up to a half-inch thick, which is characteristic of the yoroi-doshi. The extra thickness at the spine of the blade distinguishes the yoroi-doshi from a standard tanto blade.

Yoroi-doshi were worn inside the belt on the back or on the right side with the hilt toward the front and the edge upward. Due to being worn on the right, the blade would have been drawn using the left hand, giving rise to the alternate name of metezashi or "horse-hand (i.e. rein-hand, i.e. left-hand) blade". This blade is 24cm long, 8mm thick at the hamachi. Last Edo polish likely from around 200 years past.

Code: 20646

895.00 GBP

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SAVE AN INCREDIBLE £1850. A Very Good Wakazashi Signed Soshu ju Tsunahiro Circa 1530

Beautifully wide and meaty blade by a great master smith of the Koto era. Superb original Edo lacquer ribbed saya and nice, subdued, iron fittings and tsuba. Dragon menuki. Blade in good old polish with a few finger marks and signs of combat use and wear. A stunning piece of most visually impressive stature.

Code: 19014

1950.00 GBP

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A Beautiful Shinto Period Handachi Mounted Samurai Katana All Original Edo

Worthy of any museum grade collection. All original, fabulous, Edo period koshirae [sword fittings and mounts], a fully matching suite of han dachi mounts [semi tachi form] inlaid in pure gold arabesques on iron, Higo style. The blade is in beautiful polish showing a spectacularly undulating regular gunome hamon. The tsuka is bound in blue silk and the saya has its original old Edo ishime lacquer, the tsuba is a mokko form iron plate inlaid with a stylized dragon in gold to match the fittings. 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] 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 synthesized 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 were 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.

As part of their military training, samurai were taught to sleep with their right arm underneath them so if they were attacked in the middle of the night and their the left arm was cut off the could still fight with their right arm. Samurai that tossed and turned at night were cured of the habit by having two knives placed on either side of their pillow.

Samurai have been describes as "the most strictly trained human instruments of war to have existed." They were expected to be proficient in the martial arts of aikido and kendo as well as swordsmanship and archery---the traditional methods of samurai warfare---which were viewed not so much as skills but as art forms that flowed from natural forces that harmonized with nature.
An individual didn't become a full-fledged samurai until he wandered around the countryside as begging pilgrim for a couple of years to learn humility. When this was completed they achieved samurai status and receives a salary from his daimyo paid from taxes (usually rice) raised from the local populace. Swords in Japan have long been symbols of power and honour and seen as works of art. Often times swordsmiths were more famous than the people who used them. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity. Blade tsuba to tip 27.5 inches, overall in saya 38.5

Code: 23038

7950.00 GBP

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A Good Antique Edo Period Iron Plate Tempo Tsuba

Tempo school and the yakite finish (heat treatment) is typical, as is the excellent iron. The smith who made this knew what he was doing; for all the wildness of the stamping it is very finely constructed. The patina is amazingly soft and velvety kozuka and kogai ana, on each side, 4 stamps of pairs of clouds? Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana (suhama); 74 mm

Code: 22454

495.00 GBP

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