A Japanese Tantō, Meiji Period, late 19th century

3851 2 copy
3851 1 copy
3851 5
3851 7

Item ref: 3851

  • Japan, Meiji period
  • Steel, wood, fish skin, gold, silver, copper, black lacquer, silk
  • 39 cm / 15.5 in


Private collection, Scandinavia

The blade is narrow and hira zukuri, with no central ridge line. It is fitted with a gold habaki or collar. The mounting is in aikuchi goshirae (guardless) style, the hilt (tsuka) of wood covered in same (ray skin), with a fuchi kashira of shakudo and gold decorated with a series of flower kamon including, on the fuchi, a row of  the paulonia kiri mon once used by the Toyotomi family, but by the Meiji period the badge of the Japanese government. The menuki, the decorative metal pieces positioned at either side of the hilt, are of shakudo, gilded and silvered with a soldier and a monkey. The scabbard is of wood covered in black lacquer with a spray of foliage in gold, the kojiri and kurigata, the loop for the suspension cord, of shakudo with gold flowers. A pocket at the mouth of the scabbard retains a bye-knife (kogatana), the hilt (kozuka) of shakudo decorated with gold.