Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 378: Inlaid Japanese Tanegashima Matchlock Arquebus

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Ornate Engraved and Inlaid Japanese Tanegashima Matchlock Arquebus

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,400 - $2,250

Ornate Engraved and Inlaid Japanese Tanegashima Matchlock Arquebus

Manufacturer: Japanese
Model: Matchlock
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50
Barrel: 40 inch octagon
Finish: silver/brass
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 686
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 232
Class: Antique

The Tanegashima arquebuses, named after the island on which they were introduced by shipwrecked Portuguese explorers in the mid-16th century, were used into the late 19th century, long after matchlock firearms had been replaced by flintlock and percussion arms by Europeans and other western countries. This example is particularly ornate. The octagonal smoothbore barrel has a triangular front sight blade, series of silver butterflies, brass and silver inlaid floral and Japanese lion designs, and a silver mon. The lock has untranslated calligraphy at the front. The brass inlays on the stock include another lion and floral patterns.

Rating Definition:

Very good overall with dark aged patina on the silver and brass, dark brown patina along the iron barrel, absent pan cover, absent pin from the heel plate, and minor dings and scratches on the otherwise very good stock. Mechanically fine.

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