(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
Attachemnt:  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