London, South Kensington
13 May 2009
A FINELY MOUNTED TANTO
MEI YOSHIMITSU, KAMAKURA PERIOD (13TH -14TH CENTURY)
A hira-zukuri tanto of uchizori curve, itame hada with mokume and jinie, suguha hamon of ko-nie, ko-maru boshi, in its chisagatana mounting , the saya vermillion ribbed with narrow raised black bands, fitted with an ireko saya [inner sleeve] and mounted with shakudo nanako kurikata and kojiri decorated with san-go-san paulownia mon and scrolling, matching kaeri-tsuno, and uragawara, the tsuka wrapped with black leather cord, the fuchigashira with san-go-san paulownia mon against a lattice of gold inlay on a shakudo ground, roundel menuki also of shakudo each with seven paulownia mon in gold inlay, the hamidashi tsuba with paulownia mon which overlap the edge and alternate with tantric Buddhist ritual items in gold inlay, wari-kogai of shakudo engraved with cherry blossoms, kozuka of shakudo partially ribbed with gold inlay and with a nanako butt, with a single paulownia mon in gold inlay, Momoyama period (c.1600), accompained by silk and brocade bags, a black lacquer box with gold maki-e paulownia mon, and a wood outer box
By repute given to Toyotomi Hideyoshi to a member of the Gondo family in recognition of assistance rendered in the building of Osaka castle.
Dr. Walter Ames Compton
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