Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1320: Antique Japanese Wakizashi-Length Sword with Elaborate Fittings

Auction Date: April 14, 2018

Unsigned Antique Japanese Wakizashi-Length Sword with Elaborate Fittings and Historical Attribution

Estimated Price: $10,000 - $20,000

Unsigned Antique Japanese Wakizashi-Length Sword with Elaborate Fittings and Historical Attribution

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 1099
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 165
Class: Other

Included with the sword is a photocopied valuation certificate from Kiernan Galleries of Mosman Park, Washington, which attributes the unsigned blade as the output of the Ujifusa family, a noted line of Japanese bladesmiths, circa 1740. The sword measures 22 inches overall, with a 15 1/4 inch blade set into a two piece serrated gilt habaki, showing notably strong grain and a very sharp "horse tooth" hamon pattern. The tang is unsigned, with a single mekugi-ana and a well-aged color, and the grip shows a fine midnight blue wrap over a pair of silver dragon menuki. Several of the fittings are quite impressive in their own right. The round iron tsuba has been deeply sculpted, with a cut-through "Chinese gate" pattern around the border, and a pair of gold accented dragons intertwined with fine scrolls, as well as a light "ocean" pattern engraving on the flat space covered by the spacers. Fine unaged shakudo and copper is the chief material of the fuchi, which has been sculpted with a fine gilt accented scene of a castle in the mountains, and the kashira, koiguchi, and kurigata are constructed from smooth dark horn. The tsuba shows an elaborate banded lacquer finish, alternating mustard yellow and deep brown/amber bands down the length, and includes a small kogatana knife, 8 1/4 inches overall with a 4 1/2 inch signed (untranslated) blade and a fine shakudo handle with a sculpted and gold accented scene of a tiger and a dragon about to fight it out in a bamboo forest. A fine blue/gold damask cloth case is also included.

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine overall. The fine polished blade shows some light spotting and handling marks, and the habaki shows some denting at the rear corners. A small hairline crack is barely visible in the saya near the kogatana pocket, along with a few light scratches and some minor scuffs in the lacquer concentrated towards the tip. Overall an exceptionally fine, high grade Japanese Wakizashi sword, displaying a high level of artistry in the fittings.

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