Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 03 November 2015 11:45 EDT, 2010, 2013, 2014

Col Hartley's Collection

Gallery 1: Japanese Edged Weapons, Tanto

 

 

 

Type TANTO
Smith NOBUKUNI
Papers  
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) SHINOGI ZUKURI
Mei (signature) MINAMOTO SAEMONJO NOBUKUNI
Date NONE
Nagasa (blade length) 24.13cm (9.5")
Overall length 32.385cm (12.75")
Mihaba (blade body width) 2.54cm (1")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.63cm (0.25")
Sori (curvature) 0.3175cm (0.125")
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) ONE
Yasurime (nakago file marks)  
Mune (blade back) IORI
Hada (skin texture) MUJI
Hamon (temper) GUNOME
Boshi (point temper) YAKITSUME
Horimono Omote (front carving) BONJI & MEI
Horimono Ura (back carving) BO-HI
Habaki (collar) I PC. BRASS
Saya (scabard) SHIRASAYA
Saya notes  
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos)  


Tanto, Nobukuni

 

Type KAIKEN 
Smith GASSAN SADAKAZU
Papers  
Body Test  
Other JOJOSAKU, c. MEJI 1868/ SHINSHINTO
Sugata (shape, form) HIRA-ZUKURI
Mei (signature) GASSAN SADAKAZU TSUKURU
Date MEJI YO NEN SHOKA (1872)
Nagasa (blade length) 12.19cm ( 4.875" )
Overall length 17.5cm ( 7" )
Mihaba (blade body width) 1.72cm (0.688")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.469cm (0.1875")
Sori (curvature) MU-ZORI
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) ONE
Yasurime (nakago file marks) KESHO
Mune (blade back) KAKU
Hada (skin texture) AYASUGI
Hamon (temper) NOTARE BASED ON SUGUHA
Boshi (point temper) KO-MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) NONE
Horimono Ura (back carving)  
Habaki (collar) ONE PIECE GOLD FOIL
Saya (scabard) KOSHIRAE
Saya notes The Koshirae begins with a red lacquered saya with yamagane or copper Kurigata. The Tsuka is done in high quality Same with no tsuka-ito. The only adornment are the two gold Dragon Menuki. The mekugi pin is Ivory. The Fuchi, Kashira, and Koiguchi are Gold Foil.
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos) The Kaiken was a very small Tanto. They were carried by the wives and daughters of Samurai and used for self defense and likely as a status symbol among the elite, as many were very well made and mounted. The assumed role of the kaiken as a tool used for suicide is unfounded. The Dagger used for ritual suicide or Seppuku was required to fall within a prescribed criteria. For Women's Ritual Seppuku or Jigai (severing the Carotid Arteries), the the Blade was a prescribed length of 9 sun, 5 bu (11.3" or 28.78cm). The other requirements were that the blade be mu-zori or straight backed, Hira-zukuri or flat sided and it was required to be housed in a very plain all white wooden tsuka and saya, which resembled a white shirasaya. The Kaiken would only have been used for suicide in a last ditch effort to prevent a loss of face. Say, to avoid the humiliation of rape. Kaiken were generally concealed in the sleeve of the Kimono or tucked discreetly into the Obi. For this reason, they were typically mounted in Aikuchi mounts. Aikuchi means "Flush Mouthed". This is reference to the fact that they were mounted with no Tsuba. The Fuchi sits flush against the Koiguchi or mouth of the saya. As such, the flat profile was easily concealed .
GASSAN SADAKAZU (1834 - 1918), c. Meji 1868 / Shinshinto Period. Gassan Sadakazu was a pupil of Gassan Sadayoshi. He was designated as Imperial Court Artist on Meji Sanjukyunen (1906). He  began forging swords at age 14 and continued until just prior to his death at age 84, a career spanning seventy years. Gassan Sadakazu was extremely skilled  and forged swords with hada and hamon from along the lines of the Dens, Bizen, Soshu, Yamashiro and Yamato. He was also very skilled at carving Horimono. 
This Kaiken Tanto though tiny in size at 4.875 inches, is very well forged in the classic Ayasugi Hada of the Gassan Tradition. The hamon is Notare based on Suguba. The signature is well cut and it is dated 1872.  


Tanto, Gassan

 

Type TANTO
Smith SA YUKIHIDE (Gimei)
Papers  
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) HIRAZUKURI  ZUKURI
Mei (signature) SA YUKIHIDE
Date ANSEI ROKU NEN NI GATSU BI
Nagasa (blade length) 26.98cm (10.625")
Overall length 36.83cm (14.5")
Mihaba (blade body width) 3.016cm (1.1875")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.63cm (0.25")
Sori (curvature) 0.317cm (0.125")
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) ONE
Yasurime (nakago file marks) KESHO
Mune (blade back) KAKU
Hada (skin texture) MUJI
Hamon (temper) SUGUHA
Boshi (point temper) KO_MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) NONE
Horimono Ura (back carving) NONE
Habaki (collar) 1 PC. COPPER
Saya (scabard) SHIRASAYA
Saya notes  
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos) Tanto signed Sa Yukihide.  This is a beautiful tanto but sadly had a false mei inscribed into it.  The shinsa team in Tampa 2014 determined it to be gimei.  They did howver, give their opinion on who did make this tanto.  According to them, it was made the Gendai and still living "Fukuoka So Tsutomo".  They did say that this smith is a very famous and well regarded mukansa smith. From Markus Sesko's book: Tsutomu (勉), Fukuoka – „Chikushū Sannō-jū Sō Tsutomu saku“ (筑州山王住宗勉作), „Sō Tsutomu saku“ (宗勉作), civilian name „Sō Masaru“ (宗勝), born May 1st 1926, he studied from 1946 under his father Sō Masamitsu (宗勝) but also under Komiya Kunimitsu (小宮国光) and Horii Toshihide (堀井俊秀), he became mukansa in 1990.
The blade itself is flawless and gorgeous, in excellent polish. Comes in shirasaya.


Tanto, Yukihide

 

Type TANTO
Smith KANEFUSA
Papers  
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) SHINOGI ZUKURI
Mei (signature) KANEFUSA
Date NONE
Nagasa (blade length) 29.52cm (11.625")
Overall length 40.64cm (16")
Mihaba (blade body width) 2.85cm (1.125")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.95cm (0.375")
Sori (curvature) 3.175cm (1.25")
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) ONE
Yasurime (nakago file marks)  
Mune (blade back) IORI
Hada (skin texture) ITAME
Hamon (temper) SUGUHA
Boshi (point temper) KO_MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) BO-HI
Horimono Ura (back carving) SO-HI
Habaki (collar) 1 PC. BRASS
Saya (scabard) KOSHIRAE
Saya notes The koshirae is complete but suffers from age as can be clearly seen in the photos.
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos) Tanto signed Kanefusa in koshirae.  Kanefusa smith's for the most part were Mino smith's. Seki Kanefusa was from the Masatsune mon and is said to be the father of Wakasa no kami Ujifusa. Seki Kanefusa was known for his gunome midare hamon which this tanto does not exhibit.  This tanto screams Mino from the sugata, nakago, jitetsu, yasurime, etc., etc.  I have no reason to believe this mei is gimei, however the problem is trying to determine  which Kanefusa it is.  Hawley's lists approximately 2.5 pages of "Kanefusa" smiths with the vast majority being Mino Smith's.  The only way to determine this with some degree of certainty would be to submit it to shinsa.


Tanto, Kanefusa

 

Type TANTO
Smith KANEMAKI
Papers  
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) HIRAZUKURI ZUKURI
Mei (signature) SEKI  JU KANEMAKI
Date NONE
Nagasa (blade length) 23.49cm (9.25")
Overall length 33.97cm (13.375")
Mihaba (blade body width) 2.22cm (0.875")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.476cm (0.1875")
Sori (curvature) 0cm (0")
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) ONE
Yasurime (nakago file marks) ?
Mune (blade back) IORI
Hada (skin texture)  
Hamon (temper) GUNOME
Boshi (point temper) KO_MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) NONE
Horimono Ura (back carving) NONE
Habaki (collar) 1 PC. GOLD FOIL
Saya (scabard) KOSHIRAE
Saya notes The Aikuchi koshirae is the highlight of this piece.  It is done in a beautiful gold lacquer with mons and peony's. The menuki are gold foil and depict peony's as well.
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos) Nice Tanto signed Kanemaki. The were several generations of Kanemaki from 1504 - 1624. The blade is in overasll good condition with a few surface scratches and a little shintetsu peeking through.  
 


Tanto, Kanemaki

 

Type TANTO
Smith MORIYOSHI c. 1459
Papers NBTHK
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) HIRA ZUKURI
Mei (signature) YEDA KAMMON (NO SUKE MORIYOSHI)
Date cHOROKU SAN NEN (REMAINDER CUT OFF)
Nagasa (blade length) 28.89cm (11.375")
Overall length 39.05cm (15.375")
Mihaba (blade body width) 2.69cm (1.0625")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.63cm (0.25")
Sori (curvature) SAKIZORI
Nakago shortening SURIAGE
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) THREE
Yasurime (nakago file marks) NONE
Mune (blade back) KAKU
Hada (skin texture) TIGHT KO-ITAME WITH UTSURI
Hamon (temper) SUGUBA
Boshi (point temper) KO_MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) NONE
Horimono Ura (back carving) NONE
Habaki (collar) 2 PC. GOLD FOIL
Saya (scabard) SHIRASAYA
Saya notes  
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos)  Suriage Tanto attributed to Yeda Kammon no Suke Moriyoshi c. 1459 per the NBTHK 


Tanto, Moriyoshi

 

Type TANTO
Smith NORINAGA
Papers  
Body Test  
Other  
Sugata (shape, form) HIRA ZUKURI
Mei (signature) YAMATO no KUNI NORINAGA
Date NONE
Nagasa (blade length) 22.86cm (9")
Overall length 33.97cm (13.375")
Mihaba (blade body width) 2.38cm (0.937")
Kasane (blade thickness) 0.47cm (0.1875")
Sori (curvature) SAKIZORI
Nakago shortening UBU
Mekugi Ana (nakago holes) TWO
Yasurime (nakago file marks)
Mune (blade back) KAKU
Hada (skin texture) ITAME
Hamon (temper) SUGUHA
Boshi (point temper) KO_MARU
Horimono Omote (front carving) NONE
Horimono Ura (back carving) NONE
Habaki (collar) 1 PC COPPER
Saya (scabard) KOSHIRAE
Saya notes The koshirae is complete and very unusual with all the attached fittings being made of either ivory or bone.
General notes (Photo by Ed Marshall, click below for more photos) Tanto signed Yamato no Kuni Norinaga.  The blade has seen better days and and suffers from wear and damage.


Tanto Koshirae, Norinaga blade

 


Osumi no kami Hiromitsu

Nagamitsu (Oei Bizen?) Polished. Mounts en-suite Mino Goto
Gold & silver lacquer flowers on aogai saya.
Mounts excellent but obviously old.

Mumei (Masahide school?) Ivory fuchi-kashira signed Masatsugu (famous netsuke
maker). Silver dragon menuki, horn "points" on rattan wrapped saya
high relief mother of pearl carved dragon kozuka. Polished

Mumei (Bingo Masazane origami). Polished. Metal mounts all top
quality Higo (gold on iron) - stippled lacquer saya.

Mumei (Oei Uda school). Polished. Good Nara shakudo fuchi-kashira, good
menuki, tsuba Yamagane "dragon in-round"

Muramasa. Beautiful semi-hitatsura blade, polished.
Existing holograph with certification by Dr. Homma.

Noshu Kanemitsu. Moroha zukuri. Polished.

Mumei (Mishina Ujifusa). Beautiful polish and classic Ujifusa Hamon.

Mumei (Mishina?) Ens-suite copper mounts, excellent

Yoshimitsu (Tosa school - nearly exact copy of shape & style of Awataguchi
Yoshimitsu). Polished. All lacquer mounts with Kiku on saya & Kiku menuki.

Hisamichi (Go-Kaji). Hachiwara mounts fair.
 

 


Tanto
Top, Ebisaya with tsunagi inscribed by Imamura (fittings for blade in shirasaya),
Bottom: Shirasaya for Mumei blade, "Soshu-mono" sayagaki by Imamura Choga.
Certificate as Hiromitsu by member of Imperial Appraisal Committee and
oral attribution as Hiromitsu by Dr. Homma. Hitatsura, perfect polish.

 


Front

Back

 


Gassan Sadakazu.  Polished, ayasugi hada.
Gold "points" throughout on mounts, excellent coiled Goto dragon menuki.
Smallest Kwaiken Col Hartley had seen.



 


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