Original Japanese WWII M1899 Type 32 "Ko" First Pattern Cavalry Saber with Scabbard - dated 1924

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice condition Imperial Japanese WWII Type 32 "Ko" First Pattern Cavalry saber, complete with its original matching steel scabbard. Japanese cavalry sabers, originally introduced in the late 19th Century, all have machine made blades with serial numbers on the ricasso and will commonly have arsenal stamps on the guard.

The Type 25, introduced in 1892, had brass hilts and plain wood grips. The Type 32, introduced in 1899, on the other hand has a checkered steel hilt with checkered wood grips. They were issued with a leather finger loop on the inside of the guard. The machine made blades are "katana" shaped, and have a full length wide fuller and flat spine, and are contained in steel scabbards with a single ring. The swords saw service during the Russo-Japanese War, World War One and on into World War Two.

Two patterns of the Type 32 were produced. The first pattern, known as ‘Ko,’ was issued to cavalry NCOs and had a blade length of around 32 1/2 inches. The second pattern, known as ‘Otsu,’ was issued to army NCOs and was shorter, with a blade length of around 30 inches. This example is a ‘Ko’ pattern Type 32 cavalry sabre, and was somewhat later production, as it was never fitted for the leather finger ring, and there is no hole in the guard to accommodate it.

The blade is in very good condition and retains its fighting edge, with a few areas of nicks and denting. The ricasso is stamped with serial number 81935. The blade was designed for cutting and thrusting and was superbly good at both. This blade definitely looks to have seen service, and was sharpened at least once, probably to help remove damage from the edge dents.

The steel D guard has a checked steel back strap and dove head pommel, all of which retain their original finish and are in excellent condition. The checked wooden grip is in similarly great condition. The locking catch is present and strong. The guard has the arsenal stamp that was used by Koishikawa Arsenal, which was later transferred to Kokura Arsenal after the Great Kanto Earthquake. There is unfortunately no way to know when the sword was made, as they were produced continuously for close to 40 years. It is however marked with 三 一 大 above the arsenal marking, which is most likely a date. Emperor Taishō (大正天皇) had reign that lasted from 1912 to 1926, so this would probably stand for the 13th year of the Taishō (大正) reign, or 1924.

The sword is complete with its steel scabbard, with a single hanger-ring, and functional locking catch. The drag of the scabbard bears matching serial number 81935, which is not typical, as these are almost always found mismatched. The scabbard is in very good condition, with a nice finish, though there are some dents closer to the drag.

A great Japanese Cavalry Saber, in service for decades, and probably brought home after WWII. In very nice condition and ready to display!

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