(拵ギャラリ) Koshirae Gallery

Hizen Goshirae (肥前拵)


Full Length:  97.5 cm
Tsuka Length:  23.8 cm  
Saya Length: 73.7 cm 
Sunagi Nakago Length:  13.6 cm  
Sunagi Nagasa Length:  56.5 cm  
Tsuba : 7.1 cm X 7.5 cm, 5.0 mm at rim 
Fuchi-Gashira:  1.2 cm X 3.5 cm, 1.2 cm X 3.5 cm  
Saya: Polsihed Black Lacquer 
Menuki: 1.2 cm X 4.5 cm
Attachment:  Silk Sword Bag

A composite view of a complete set of Japanese sword fittings (koshirae 拵) for a long sword (katana 刀) with a full length wooden blade (sunagi).  The theme of the koshirae is influenced by the Province of Hizen (肥前國).  Forged iron (tetsu 鉄) hand guard (tsuba 鐔) while unsigned (mumei 無銘) is a work of the Jakushi (杓子) School based in the port city of Nagasaki (長崎) in Hizen Province. The artistic scene on both sides of the tsuba is that of a Chinese style painting made popular during the Ming Dynasty that was exported to southern Japan during the beginning of the Edo Period with the collapse of the Ming Dynasty (1644 CE).  The design is rendered with the inlay of various soft metals on the iron plate which includes gold, silver, and copper.  
The handle (tsuka 柄) is warped in black silk over high quality sting ray skin leather that has been blacken by the application of black lacquered (kuro-urushi 黒漆).  The fuchi-gashira (縁頭) are made of forged iron with soft metal inlays of gold, silver, and copper.  The fuchi is signed (Jakushi 杓子) on its face.  The two-character signature style is consistent with what the Jakushi School used during the late Edo Period.  
The hilt ornaments (menuki目貫) are made of iron is done in high relief carving (takabori 高彫) style.  The design itself dates from the Muromachi Period (室町時代) was first made popular by the Goto School (後藤).  The design of menuki is of a crawling male and female Japanese style dragon (hairyū 這龍).  The male dragon can be distinguished from the female dragon by presence of a double-edged sword (ken 剣) at the end of its tail.  The male dragon can also be identified by its reaching for the wish for filling jewel (hō-ju 宝珠).  While the menuki are mumei due to the subject matter, quality of the carving, and use of iron as the base metal for the menuki they are likely the work of the Tetsugendo (鉄元堂) School.

The end cap (kojiri こじり) of the the polished black scabbard (saya 鞘) is made of silver and signed (Yoshiteru horu 義照彫).  He lived in Kyōto (京都) from 1828 until 1902 and was a student of the artist Arakitōmei (荒木東明).  He favored working in silver and the copper-silver alloy of (shibuichi 四分一).

Provenance: Unknown from Japanese Auction

Price:  Please Inquire

Owari Goshirae (尾張拵)


Full Length: 91.4 cm  
Tsuka Length: 21.9 cm  
Saya Length: 68.6 
Sunagi Nakago Length: 14.0 cm  
Sunagi Nagasa Length:  60.3 cm
Tsuba: 6.4 cm X 6.8 cm, 5.2 mm at rim 
Fuchi-Gashira: 3.5 cm, 2.6 cm  
Saya: Polsihed Black Lacquer
Menuki: 4.3 cm
Attachment:  Silk Sword Bag

This is a complete set of matched fitting for a short sword (wakizashi 脇差). It is done in a style that was popular in Owari Province (尾張國). While the tsuba and menuki are older the whole set was likely assembled during the late Edo Period when the handle (tsuka 柄) was made and wrapped dark blue dyed silk and scabbard (saya 鞘) carved and lacquered. Owari style koshirae typically use Owari-sukashi or Kanayama tsuba that have the  design done positive open work (ji-sukashi 地透). This koshirae the iron (tetsu 鉄)  tsuba is of the Owari-sukashi style and likely dates from the mid Edo Period. The large diamond pattern handle warp showing much of underlining ray skin (samekawa 鮫皮) is characteristic of Owari Province. The end caps of the handle (fuchi-gashira 縁頭) are made of the copper-gold alloy (shakudō 赤銅) angular stylistically Owari in shape and likely made during the late Edo Period by a goldsmith artist (Kinkō 金工) working in the province. Inlaid on the fuchi using gold (kin-zōgan 金象厳) is a statement (kaku-maru 角丸) meaning rounded square. I am not sure what this refers to. The large peppercorn (sanshō 山椒) themed menuki are the oldest part the koshirae and likely date from the late Muromachi Period (circa early to mid 16th Century) and made by the Mino Kinko (美濃金工) school. They are made of a fine shakudō with design rendered in a delicate high relief carving (takabori 高彫).  A near identical set of NBTHK papered menuki were discuss on Darcy Brockbank’s website here: https://yuhindo.com/ko-mino-menuki/.         
    The saya associated parts: koiguchi, kurigata, kojiri are completely plain in decoration and design. The body of the saya is covered in a plain glossy black lacquered also characteristic of the austere aesthetics of the Owari style koshirae.

       

Provenance: Curran Campbell Collection

Price:  Please Inquire