• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7582

    Japanese Art and Design

    14 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 205

    AN ECHIZEN WAKIZASHI

    SIGNED YAMASHIRO (NO) KAMI FUJIWARA KUNIKIYO WITH KIKU MON ON THE URA, AND KONO TSURUGI (NO) KITAE NANBAN TETSU [THIS SWORD WAS FORGED WITH FOREIGN STEEL], EDO PERIOD (EARLY 17TH CENTURY)

    Price Realised  

    AN ECHIZEN WAKIZASHI
    SIGNED YAMASHIRO (NO) KAMI FUJIWARA KUNIKIYO with kiku mon ON THE URA, AND KONO TSURUGI (NO) KITAE NANBAN TETSU [THIS SWORD WAS FORGED WITH FOREIGN STEEL], EDO PERIOD (EARLY 17TH CENTURY)

    Sugata [configuration]: hon-zukuri wakizashi of even curve, deep, rather sakizori, iori-mune, chu-kissaki
    Kitae [forging pattern]: vivid itame with ji-nie
    Hamon [tempering pattern]: cloudy suguha-cho with sunagashi, ashi, and niju-ba
    Boshi [tip]: ko-maru
    Nakago [tang]: ubu, katte-sagari file marks, two mekugi-ana, ha-agari kurijiri tip
    Habaki [collar]: double, silver and gilt
    Nagasa [length of blade]: 54.4cm
    Shirasaya [plain wood scabbard]: with inscription by Hakusui
    Koshirae [mounting]: wakizashi mounting, the black lacquer saya with butterflies and peonies in shell inlay, gold leaf and gold shishiai makie, the fuchi-kashira of shibuichi with plovers over swirling water and banks with bamboo grasses with shakudo and gold inlay, the fuchi signed Yanagawa Naomitsu, the menuki of bunches of leaves and flowers in shakudo with gold and silver details, kozuka with shishi and peonies on a shakudo nanako panel, against a surround of scrolling in gold nunome-zogan, the mokko tsuba copper with shishi and peonies among rocks in high relief with silver and gold inlay


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    Kunikiyo was the son of Shimada Sukemune III, and became a pupil of the school of Kunihiro under Kunitomo at Horikawa in Kyoto. He is said to have been retained by Matsudaira Tadamasa in Shinano Province, and to have later migrated to Fukui in Echizen with Tadamasa. He, and later generations would have known the Yasutsugu group of Echizen, who also recorded the use of foreign steel, as inscribed on the tang of this blade. He was granted the title Yamashiro Daijo in 1624, and Yamashiro no Kami in 1628, together with which rank he became entitled to carve the chrysanthemum mon on his swords. Kunikiyo I died in 1665, his son Kunikiyo II dying in 1698. The third generation entitled Yamashiro no Kami died aged 78 in 1700, and it is thought that the name succeeded until a 9th generation active during the Meiji period. Generations after the first sometimes cut an ichimonji character below the chrysanthemum.

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    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN