East Asia, Japan, later Edo Period, ca. early to mid-19th century CE. A fine handle and sheath formed from wood during the Edo Period. The handle (tsuka) is wrapped with stringray skin (same) that is secured with cotton bindings (tsuka-ito), and an iron cap (kashira) tops the pommel end. A circular iron hand guard (maru gata tsuba) rests between the handle and the wooden blade. The hand-carved wooden sheath (saya) features jet black lacquer (urushi) as well as a slot for a by-knife on one side. Size: 21.5" L x 2.25" W (54.6 cm x 5.7 cm)
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in September 2016; ex-private Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan collection
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Handle and sheath are from the Edo period, and iron tsuba, cap on blade shoulder, and wooden blade are modern; original blade missing. Minor abrasions and chipping to sheath lacquer, Light staining to handle wrap, and light encrustations within some recessed areas. Light earthen deposits throughout.