Netsuke first appears in the 17th century. They are ornamental designs used to help hang sacks, baskets, or boxes off of sashes since traditional Japanese clothing did not have pockets. This example is fashioned in the shape of a 19th century Japanese matchlock pistol and likely dates from the same period. The barrel has golden scroll and floral designs. Most of the smaller parts are silver. A swivel is fitted to the bottom of the forend for attaching a cord. Though not actually meant to be fired, the pistol is designed like a fully functional matchlock and has a vented barrel.
Very fine with 75% of the gold inlay remaining on the barrel and oxidation and brown patina on the remaining iron. The silver and brass have aged patina. The lock needs minor adjustments to the sear. The wood is also very fine and has minor handling and storage marks and a very faint hairline crack on the front left.
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