Included with the sword is a photocopied valuation certificate from Kiernan Galleries of Mosman Park, Washington, which attributes the blade as the output of noted swordsmith "Higo-no-Kami-Kuniyasu", manufactured about 1660; commentaries made by the author Yamada Asaemon Yoshitoshi in 1815 declared Kuniyasu one of the finer smiths of the Shinto-era, ranking his output "O-wazamono" (excellent) on the basis of cutting tests. The Kiernan paper also mentions that the sword was evaluated by the NBTHK (Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword), which reportedly rated the sword at the "Tokubetsu Hozon" (Especially Worthy of Preservation) level; copies of the certificate are included. The sword measures 29 1/2 inches overall, with the 22 inch blade showing a very active grain and hamon, the latter showing a strong "toran" wave pattern with occasional separated "tama" jewel tempered accents, set into a gilt serrated habaki. The tsuba is 4-lobed shakudo construction, sculpted in a floral pattern, with a lightly serrated and grooved fuchi, and a kashira with raised and gilt accented vine patterns. The blackened grip skin is secured with a length of midnight blue cord and features a pair of gilt menuki. A well aged patina is present on the tang, with two mekugi-ana and a 5-symbol signature on the left side running straight to the square-cut end. The saya is finished in a rich red lacquer, with a green cord sageo and a fine kogatana knife, 8 1/2 inches overall with a signed 4 3/4 inch blade and a shakudo hilt decorated with a blackened glove and a silver topped gilt scepter. Also included with the lot is a set of shirasaya fittings, a wooden dummy blade, and a floral damask cloth case.
Excellent plus overall with some light handling marks. The finest Japanese Wakizashi-length sword we have ever offered at auction!
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