Medals & Coins, Arms & Militaria - Lot 1078

A fine matched pair of Japanese swords (daisho), mounted en suite in handachi koshirae:

The long sword (daito): koto, blade 28 in., shinogo-zukuri, torii-zori, iori-mune, having bo-bie with soe-bi, irregulare hamon, ubu nakago with kurijiri, signed Noshu Seku Ju Kanemoto.

The short sword (shoto): shinto, blade 18.5 in., structure conforming to that of the daito, irregular hamon and boshi, nakago signed Inoue Izumi (no) Kami Fujiwara Kunisada.

The mountings (daisho-soroimona): silvered copper habaki with neko-gaki; lobed tsuba of shakudo finely perforated in a geometric sayagata pattern, gold lined ryo-hitsu; the fuchi, kabuto-gane, koiguchi, kurigata, kashiwaba and ishidzuki all of shakudo with a scrolling arrangement of chrysanthemums in raised kin-zogan to a nanako ground, saya lacquered with bands of crushed mother-of-pearl.

Offered with: two silk sword bags and a stand.

The smiths: Noshu Seku Ju Kanemono, Mino province, Eisho era (1504-21), active 1514-21 (Hawley ref. KAN1572); Inoue Izumi (no) Kami Fujiwara Kunisada, Settsu province, probably either 1st generation (Oya Kunisada 1624-44) or his son (Shinkai Kunisada 1673-81).

Provenance: by descent from Major-General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman-Biggs, C.B. (1843-98), who recieved his first commission at only 17, and served in the 2nd Opium War, being present at the capture of the Taku-Forts in 1860. Here he fell ill, and according to the eulogy given by the Bishop of Southwark at his funeral many years later, he was taken by a senior officer to Japan to recuperate.

References: Willis Meeker Hawley, 'Hawley's Japanese Swordsmiths'; Markus Sesko, 'Swordsmiths of Japan'

Estimate: £3,500 - 4,500


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