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    Sale 7622

    Japanese Art and Design

    11 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 179



    Price Realised  


    EDO PERIOD (19th century)
    Iron on a wooden carriage, with an applied copper triple oak leaf mon
    Length of barrel 40.8cm., bore 8.54cm., total length including carriage 143cm., diameter of wheels 67.5cm.

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    Although matchlock guns were introduced into Japan in the 16th century, the first Japanese cannon, of iron, brass, or bronze were ineffective and were not brought into serious use until the 19th century. There were also a small number of imported artillery pieces, and the peculiarly Japanese wooden cannon. Then in 1818 Kunitomo Tobei envisaged a cannon of forged iron, which was made by Masanaga Sahei in 1858. Matchlock muzzle-loading cannon were thereafter made in Kaga, Mito, Kagoshima, and Kumamoto until the introduction of modern artillery pieces around the end of the century. This iron cannon mounted on a robust wooden wheeled carriage is described as a 'hiyatsutsu' in an inscription. The word hiyatsutsu, [flaming arrow tube], was applied to these weapons although arrows were not fired from them.
    The oak-leaf mon was used by the Yamauchi clan of Tosa Province, who were very much allied to the Choshu Province samurai who bombarded British ships at Simonoseki with just such a cannon as this.

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    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium