Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre AD 1000 item #1343481
Apolonia Ancient Art
This superb piece is a Japanese samurai katana sword that dates to the Edo Period, circa 1603-1868 A.D. This piece is approximately 36 inches long, from the tip to the end handle cap. The blade is approximately 28-28.5 inches long, as the tang is centered within the handle wrapping, and this is an approximate size due to the tang being wrapped. This piece was also handle rewrapped by the Royal Ontario Museum under the supervision of David Pepper, who was the curator of the Japanese Arms and Armor Department. He also authenticated this piece to the Edo Period, circa 1603-1868, as the tang also has the stamped signature of a swordsmith signed Yoshinao, who lived in Seki City in old Mino, Japan. This swordsmith also had many ancestors with his same name that worked in the same city as well, and are well known for producing many swords during during WWII. It's also extremely likely that the piece offered here was subsequently remounted, in addition to the handle being rewrapped in WWII for use in a Military mount, as all Japanese officers were required to wear a sword. The handle wrappings now seen on the impressive piece offered here likely replaced the old military mounts and wrapping. The handle fittings and bronze round hilt guard (tsuba) now seen on this piece also date to the Edo Period, and may have been original to the piece along with the other handle fittings, and were all incorporated into the original and previous military handle wrappings. This may have been done for traditional reasons, as swords of this type were and are regarding as having a "living energy". This piece was originally made for a samurai warrior in feudal Japan, and was designed for battle using two hands. This remarkable piece also has an extremely fine razor sharp blade, which defines this piece as being among the finest cutting weapons in world military history. One truly has to handle this weapon with care, as this blade is still razor sharp and a slight slip would likely result in injury. The Edo Period fittings also feature a scarce gold gilt protector deity face that is seen peeking out of the handle wrappings on Side A, and in addition, there are gold inlayed symbols and/or lettering seen within the Edo Period round bronze hilt guard (tsuba). The bronze end cap has very elaborated designs as well. This piece was also produced by hammering layers of steel with different carbon concentrations, and this process was very labor extensive and involved several people working together in unison. The extensive hammering removed impurities within the metal, and this resulted in a stronger blade. The constant hammering and cooling of the blade with water also resulted in a wavy line seen on the side of the blade that is called the "hamon", which is made more distinct by polishing. Each "hamon" and each smith's style of "hamon" is very distinct, and is in fact analogous to a fingerprint. The blade on the piece offered here was polished into a mirror like finish, and is in superb condition. The blade surface has some minor and light brown age spots that are not very noticeable which show the age of the blade, and one can easily polish the blade to remove these if one wishes to do so. David Pepper also left this patina to show the age of the blade, and his rewrapping of the handle follows traditional Japanese form and construction. This piece also sits on a custom wooded stand, and has a great deal of eye appeal. This piece is a traditional Japanese work of art, and is one of the most distinctive weapons known in the world today. Ex: David Pepper collection, circa 1960's. Exhibited: Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, circa 1980's. Ex: Paul Haig collection, circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: