Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 45: Japanese Matchlock Pistol 53

Auction Date: December 3, 2010

Excellent Japanese Matchlock Pistol with Elaborate Gold and Silver Inlays

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $8,000

Excellent Japanese Matchlock Pistol with Elaborate Gold and Silver Inlays

Manufacturer: Japanese
Model: Matchlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 53
Barrel: 6 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: silver
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 2806
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 15
Class: Antique

Exact date of production is unknown, but the prominence of the hollyhock mon of the Tokugawa Shogunate on both metal and wood suggests it was made during the 1600-1868 timeframe of the Shogunate's dominance of Japanese affairs. Post front and groove rear sights, with the cannon muzzle finished in hammered silver and engraved through the silver in key spiral patterns, and the main section showing a gold and silver inlaid dragon in flight amongst silver clouds, three lines of gold Japanese text on the top flats, and a gold Tokugawa mon immediately ahead of the rear sight. The brass lock work is also silver finished, with internal spring and sear, a round knob trigger and a hinged pan cover. Smooth hardwood stock with brass furniture, a hardwood ramrod and a set of 5 gold painted Tokugawa mons, two on either side of the forearm and the largest atop the wrist.

Rating Definition:

Very fine as partially restored. The barrel shows 95% original silver on the muzzle, with the main body shows traces of deeply aged silver in the protected areas, with a dark brass patina on the exposed areas and very strong and attractive inlays. 30% original silver remains on the lock work, strongest on the flash pan, with a mixed patina on the brass. Stock is fine as refinished, with a mended crack on the right side of the forearm, light pressure dents, and most of the professionally restored gold lacquer, most wear happening on the high points of the wrist. Match arm is slightly loose and slips the sear, otherwise mechanically fine.

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