New York, Park Avenue
22 October 1992
A SHINSHINTO OSAKA GASSAN TANTO
EDO PERIOD, DATED KEIO 4 (1868), SIGNED NANIWA GASSAN MINAMOTO SADAKAZU TSUKURU
Configuration (sugata): with a narrowed back in the upper half and with the ridge line continuing directly to the point (shobu-zukuri), with shallow peaked back (iori-mune) and rather thick, approaching the proportions of a yoroi-doshi and with the point dropping 0.1cm.; length (nagasa): 8 sun, 1 bu (24.6cm.); curvature (sori) none (muzori).
Forging pattern (jihada): an elongated wood grain (itame). Tempering pattern (hamon): rolling invections (gonome) of irregular and clove patterns (choji midare) executed in ko-nie and with regular nie appearing near the kissaki; two spots of back tempering (muneyaki) on the ura.
Point (boshi): midare-komi continuing into muneyaki the full length of the narrowed mune.
Tang (nakago). Shape (keitai): wide, ubu and with a thin, dry, grey patina; file marks (yasurime): kesho-yasuri; end (nakagojiri): rounded (kuri-jiri) with an affectation of a partial mekugi-ana; holes (mekugi-ana): two (plus an affection on the jiri); signature (katanamei): Naniwa Gassan Minamoto Sadakazu tsukuru; date (jidai): Keio 4-nen 8-gatsu (the 8th month of Keio 4 ).
Silk storage bag.
Accompanied by a tokubetsu kicho token certificate, no. 144667, Showa 43 (1968), issued by the N.B.T.H.K.
John Harding, London
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See Kashima and Uchida (1932), vol. 1, p. 211; Fujishiro, vol. 2, pp. 374-6.
Minamoto Sadakazu (1836-1918) was the adopted son of Gassan Sadayoshi. In 1906 he was the first swordsmith to be given the title of Artisan to the Imperial Household. This blade is an important example of his early work, made when he was 32 years old.
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Specialist Joy McCall answers key questions for collectors of the glassmaker’s exquisite pieces. Illustrated with lots offered in the Lalique sale on 15 May