Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3362: Elaborate Japanese Matchlock Musket

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,750 - $4,250

Elaborate Japanese Matchlock Musket

Manufacturer: Japanese
Model: Hand Cannon
Type: Musket
Gauge: 75 bore
Barrel: 24 5/8 inch
Finish: bright
Stock: lacquered wood
Item Views: 561
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 197
Class: Antique

OC - FINE- all original parts; over 30% original finish, sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal and wood; minor marks in wood.


This early nineteenth century Japanese matchlock hand cannon has a elaborately inlaid barrel and inlaid stock. The smooth bore barrel has a flat top and flared cannon muzzle. The front and rear sights are integral with the barrel. The top of the barrel is engraved at the breech with three Japanese characters and a stylized, gold washed Tokugawa mon. The barrel is engraved with a detailed dragon and floral designs between the muzzle and the rear sight. The lacquered wooden stock is pinned to the barrel and has a flat rest behind the muzzle. Three stylized Tokugawa mon are painted in gold on either side of the stock. The lock plate, hinged pan cover, trigger and rear barrel band are brass. The serpentine is iron and engraved with floral designs.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The barrel has an even gray-brown patina with traces of the original gold wash on the Tokugawa mon and dragon engravings. The delicate engraving on the barrel is sharp. The serpentine and the pan have moderate to heavy flash pitting and the pan cover shows moderate firing wear. One of the stock pins is missing and the barrel is loose. The partially refinished stock retains most of the lacquer finish and half of the faded gold paint remaining on the Tokugawa mon. The delicate lacquer finish has a number of minor chips and has some edge wear on high points. There is a spliced in repair visible on the top rear tang and a repaired crack visible in the bottom of the stock. The brass lock plate, pan cover and stock furniture have an attractive age patina. Some of the lock components are missing and the serpentine does not snap forward when the trigger is engaged. This is a very attractive example of a high quality Japanese matchlock hand cannon.

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