• Arts of the Samurai  auction at Christies

    Sale 2378

    Arts of the Samurai

    23 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 35

    A MOUNTED BIZEN NAGINATA

    MUROMACHI PEIROD (DATED 1501), SIGNED BIZEN [NO] KUNI JU OSAFUNE SUKESADA SAKU KORE AND DATED BUNKI GANNEN HACHIGATSU HI (A DAY IN THE EIGHTH MONTH OF 1501)

    Price Realised  

    A MOUNTED BIZEN NAGINATA
    Muromachi peirod (dated 1501), SIGNED BIZEN [NO] KUNI JU OSAFUNE SUKESADA SAKU KORE AND DATED BUNKI GANNEN HACHIGATSU HI (A DAY IN THE EIGHTH MONTH OF 1501)
    Sugata [configuration]: Naginata-zukuri, sakizori with swelling at the mono-uchi
    Kitae [forging pattern]: Itame with jinie
    Hamon [tempering pattern]: Gunome midare with ashi, sunagashi, yubashiri with tobiyaki, kinsuji in copious nie
    Boshi [tip]: Ko-maru on the ura, and Jizo style on the omote
    Nakago [tang]: Suriage yet of length 42cm, two mekugi-ana, katte sagari file marks, kiri-jiri
    Habaki [collar]: Double gold-clad copper
    Nagasa [length of blade]: 60.6cm
    Horimono [carving]: Naginata-hi
    Koshirae [mounting]: Naginata mounting with black-lacquered ribbed shaft, metal fittings of shakudo nanako with chrysanthemum and paulownia mon in high relief with gold inlay, gold fuchi, iron ishizuki, the scabbard wrapped in bear fur

    The blade accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Tokubetsu hozon token (Sword especially worthy of preservation) no. 143307 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword), dated 1998.6.17

    The mounting accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Hozon tosogu (Sword fittings worthy of preservation) no. 445496 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword), dated 2003.12.18


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    Among several dozen smiths signing Sukesada during the Muromachi period, this smith has been identified as Hikobei no Jo Sukesada, the father of Yosozaemon Sukesada, together among the greatest of the Sue-Bizen school, and active around the end of the fifteenth century and beginning of the sixteenth century. The great length of the blade follows that of naginata of the Kamakura and Nanbokucho periods, and the swelling at the mono-uchi reflects the changing shape in cutting weapons owing to the trend to combat on foot during the Sengoku jidai (Age of the country at war).