Lot 131: Shinto Wakizashi by Yamashiro Kuni Ju Fujiwara Tsunahiro
27 October 2016
Leichhardt, AustraliaLive Auction
Shinto Wakizashi by Yamashiro Kuni Ju Fujiwara Tsunahiro circa 1670, with tang signed 'Yamashiro kuni ju Fujiwara'. It was quite common for the owners of Japanese swords to shorten them by having a swordsmith cut down the tang to suit the owner's fighting style, which meant that parts of or even the whole original signature would be lost. In the case of this sword the last two characters are missing, but the accompanying NBTHK Kicho certificate attributes it to Yamashiro kuni ju Fujiwara Tsunahiro (Hawley TSU 269), based on the style of the signature & the forging characteristics of the blade.
The blade is shinogi-zukuri shape in full Japanese polish, showing all the features of a well made sword. The hamon (tempered area) is wavy notare pattern with distinct hakikake, nijuba and nie sake: the boshi has a strong turn back with well defined hakikake.
The hada (forging grain) is tight itame-hada. This blade is a fine study piece as there are many clearly visible examples of swordmaker's skill.
Tsuba is an Edo period good quality shakudo tsuba signed Yanagawa Naomasa kao depicting a large flower basket on a wheeled cart.
Fuchi kashira of shakudo with gold decoration, depicting a large garden basket on a wheeled cart heaped with flowers, high quality but unsigned. Menuki are of shakudo & gold.
The scabbard is ishimeji (sand) finish lacquered scabbard with kojiri fitting mountings in mint condition.
The NBTHK is one of the two pre-eminent Japanese sword appreciation & authentication associations (the other is the NTHK). Both organisations accept nihonto (swords) & fittings (kodogu) at regular authentication & grading meetings called shinsa, where expert panels usually of four or five members examine, judge & grade swords meeting set standards. They issue formal certificates only if a sword or fitting is good enough. False signatures, significant damage or flaws will not pass. Certificates add authenticity & value to the sword & fittings & should always remain with them.
Condition - excellent,
Measurements - 48cm nagasa (cutting edge), 2.86 cm mihaba (width at the notch) & is fitted with a good two piece habaki.