Real Japanese Edo Period (mid 19th century) folded steel beautifully tempered Aikuchi Tanto with dragon and clouds engraved over both sides of the blade with a copper habaki in stag-antler shirosaya, finely carved with a low relief of scenes of samurai, woman and two boys; a boy and a woman hold fans in their hands. There are Sakura tree branches and a waterfall, pine branches and Wisteria with a flying bird on a handle.
It has a beautiful age patina. Patina on a handle is lighter because of the hand wear. The blade has a clover temper line.
Shirasaya is 13 1/2" long; the blade is 8 1/4" long with 7 1/2" cutting edge and 1/7" thick