• Arts of the Samurai  auction at Christies

    Sale 2378

    Arts of the Samurai

    23 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 36

    A MOUNTED HORIKAWA DAISHO

    EDO PERIOD (EARLY 17TH CENTURY), KATANA SIGNED RAKUYO HORIKAWA [NO] JU FUJIWARA KUNIMORI, WAKIZASHI SIGNED FUJIWARA KUNIMORI

    Price Realised  

    A MOUNTED HORIKAWA DAISHO
    EDO PERIOD (EARLY 17TH CENTURY), KATANA SIGNED RAKUYO HORIKAWA [NO] JU FUJIWARA KUNIMORI, WAKIZASHI SIGNED FUJIWARA KUNIMORI
    Katana:
    Sugata [configuration]: Shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, shallow curve, chu-kissaki
    Kitae [forging pattern]: Prominent flowing zanguri itame-hada with jinie and mellow chikei
    Hamon [tempering pattern]: Notare with square formations mixed with ko-gunome and togari-ba, sunagashi and other variations in rich nie
    Boshi [tip]: Straight to yakitsume with slight hakikake
    Nakago [tang]: Ubu, sujigai file marks, one mekugi-ana, ha-agari kurijiri
    Habaki [collar]: Double gold-clad copper
    Nagasa [length of blade]: 77cm
    Koshirae [mounting]: Daisho mounting with black-lacquered saya, matching shakudo migakiji tsuba pierced with wave forms, menuki of gold shishi on the katana, fuchi of katana shibuichi carved with bamboo thicket, menuki of wakizashi carved with the Buddhist Wheel of the Law and a measure, with shakudo nanako kogai with entwined yabukoji (type of miniature bush orange), unsigned, attributed to Goto Teijo (1603-1673)

    The katana blade accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Juyo token (Important sword) no. 3484 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword), dated 1970.6.1

    The kogai accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Tokubetsu kicho kodogu (Especially valuable sword fitting) no. 96 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword), dated 1973.1.13
    Wakizashi:
    Kitae [forging pattern]: Prominent flowing zanguri itame-hada with jinie and mellow chikei
    Hamon [tempering pattern]: Notare with gunome ashi, yo, hotsure and with a shallow yakidashi
    Boshi [tip]: Straight to yakitsume with slight hakikake
    Nagasa [length of blade]: 50cm (2)


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    These are two of only three known blades by Kunimori. The style is so close to that of Horikawa Kunihiro that it is evident that the smith was not only a pupil, but probably made daisaku (substitute works made with permission of the master) for Kunihiro. The zanguri hada (coarse pear-skin-like surface grain pattern) and the large activity near the monouchi (cutting edge) is quite identical to the work of Kunihiro. The signature also compares with that of Kunihiro after around the 12th year of the Keicho era (1607), when it may be assumed that Kunimori was working closely with him. The katana was selected for special exhibition to Emperor Hirohito on his visit to Miyazaki (Hyuga province in Kyushu, now Miyazaki Prefecture, original home of Kunihiro) in 1935, attested by the sayagaki (attestation on wood storage scabbard) of Sato Kanzan.

    Provenance

    By repute, Naito and Kuroda families of Hyuga province


    Saleroom Notice

    There are errors in the illustrations of the blades for this lot:
    The full illustration of the blade at the left is an illustration of lot 28 and is not part of this lot. The nakago is the correct image for the katana and not the wakizashi. The illustration of the kissaki is correct for the wakizashi.
    The full illustration of the katana blade and kissaki pictured at the right are correct. The nakago is the correct image for the wakizashi and not the katana.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR


    Literature

    Nakajima Uichi, Kunihiro taikan (Tokyo, 1954), 46.
    Sato Kan'ichi (Kanzan), Horikawa Kunihiro to sono deshi (Horikawa Kunihiro and his pupils) (Tokyo: Otsuka Kogeisha, 1962).
    Token bijutsu 13 (Mar. 31, 1952): 188.
    Tetsu no issho, vol. 2, 83--84.


    Exhibited

    Chido Museum, Tsuruoka, 1996.5.17--30
    Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History, Mito, 2000.2.12