Matchlocks were used in Japan throughout the Edo period after being introduced in the mid-16th century. They began to be replaced after the opening of Japan following Commodore Perry's "visit" to Japan in 1853. Most are fairly plain, but this extraordinary example has extensive embellishment. The barrel has wire inlays on the finely sculpted muzzle and extensive silver wire, brass, and copper inlays along the length of the main octagonal section of the barrel depicting birds, mounted samurai, clouds, and other details. The barrel pin escutcheons are cherry blossoms. The brass stock overlays are engraved and feature floral designs, a rabbit and bird in clouds, and a warrior with a naginata or similar weapon with another figure with a fan balancing on it. The stock has an untranslated marking on the left side.
Fine with aged patina on the brass furniture and inlays, dark blue finish and patina along the barrel as well as some patches of mild pitting, and generally rather minor overall wear. The stock has a few cracks and spliced repairs but is otherwise also fine and has mild dings and scratches and attractive grain. Mechanically fine.
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