As part of our Japanese works of art collection we are delighted to offer this exceptionally large and fine Meiji period 1868-1912, mixed metal mounted O- Tanto Wakizashi ,the iron scabbard mounted with an entwined silver dragon of exceptional quality, adorned with gilt flames emulating from its body and mounted with a scared jewel between its horns, the handle of the Tanto formed as a Vajra which symbolizes such things as power and indestructible forces in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. The slightly waisted Ken formed blade is inscribed in gold on its original sized tang in honour of Masamune, the blade itself is carved in fine detail with a depiction of Fudo Myo-o to one side and a banner to the reverse, and fitted with a beautiful gold decorated habaki (collar), a most opulent and increasingly scarce Japanese work of art of very unusual proportions at over 25″ long.
The gold inlaid (kinzogan) signatures on the tang are honorific references to famous swordsmiths in Japan.
Typically, swords dedicated to temples and for presentations were made on special order for wealthy patrons. With extremely high quality mounts and fittings many older swords like these Ken style blades were used, and signatures added to the tangs.
The signatures were not intended to deceive, but were most likely a tribute to the quality of the blade and mounts.
The gold inlaid signature on this large Ken sword is Masamune, arguably Japan’s best and most famous swordsmith.
The mounts although unsigned can possibly be attributed to an artist working in the mid 19th century by the name of Ishiguro Masatsune III.
For an almost identical example signed by this artist see :Dr Nasser. D. Khalili , Treasures of Imperial Japan , Metalwork II Plate – 161.
Condition report :
Superb condition throughout
Approximate Sizes :
Length Overall : 25″ 63.5 cm
Length of blade : 14 1/8″ 36 cm (inc habaki)
Free worldwide delivery and a certificate of authenticity are included in the price of this item.