Original Japanese Wakizashi Samurai Sword Engraved Whalebone Scabbard and Handle - Ancient Handmade Signed Blade
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased directly from a private collection, this is a wonderful condition Japanese wakizashi (short sword). It comes with highly decorated fittings made of whalebone over a wood core. The blade is genuine and ancient, as indicated by a few tell tale characteristics that include:
- The Hole in the tang is punched and not drilled.
- Tang is shows oxidation and great age. It looks to be signed on the correct location, though we are unfortunately unable to translate the Mei (signature).
- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the body and spine of the blade)
- Clear grain ("hada") in the body of the blade, showing lamination.
- Traces of the original temper line can be seen.
Offered in very good condition, the blade unfortunately has been incorrectly cleaned, so the polish is no longer present. It is still however quite sharp, and has a good edge with only a few nicks. There are some blade wounds (kizu), which are caused by small carbon and air pockets in the steel from when it was originally folded. These are normal and confirm the authenticity. Blade length is approximately 19 3/4 inches and overall length of 30 1/2 inches, which definitely classes this as a Wakizashi. Handmade blade, with the typical "Futsu" shape tang, with a haagari (assymetrically rounded) tip.
The handle is held on by friction only and is somewhat loose, as the decorative handle has filled peg holes, so a cross pin cannot be installed. The decorative setting is fairly similar to a shirasaya, so it could be used for any blade that fits, and is not intended as a setting for use.
The level of workmanship on the Tsuka (Handle), Tsuba (cross guard), and Saya (scabbard) is very impressive. Countless hours were taken to carve, detail, and color the designs. We unfortunately have no way to tell hold old the fittings are, but we assume they are at least 100 years old.
We do not get many blades of this age in, especially with fittings like these., and this would make a worthy addition to any sword collection.
It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.
Each hand-made Samurai sword is unique because it is forged from multiple pieces of folded steel stock, which are then laminated together. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room. They were also relatively expensive, and would be passed down in the family for generations, until the blade was too worn to be polished and put in a new setting.
The Samurai sword has grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.
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