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A Koto Aikuchi Tanto 500 to 600 Years Old With Clan Mon.
With deeply ridge red lacquer saya horn fittings and menuki forming it's mekugi decorated with pure gold clan gosann kirimon of powlonia. The blade is very attractive and around 500 to 600 years old. It's kodzuka is most rare, in that it's hilt is a representation of a formed samurai sword's tang with it's signature with the large chrysanthemum mon. This is a rare and very desireable type of kodzuka. The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade can be single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged in hira-zukuri style (without ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri structure of a katana. Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armour-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi.

Code: 18805Price: 2450.00 GBP


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A Spectacular Silver Mounted Ancient Tanto By Kunitoshi, Kamakura Period
1192-1396. Made in the 1200's to early 1300's. All the full suite of silver aikuchi mounts bear the clan mon of Daki Myoga (Japanese ginger) used by the Nabeshima clan. It has a fine silver kodzuka, with an unusually tempered blade signed Kaneuji, and it's slotted fitted kogai of chopsticks. The blade is Koto, kanmuri-otoshi zukuri with a hugely thick munemachi at the base that sharply tapers upwards cut on the diagonal similar to the shobu zukuri style. This blade form is more often seen on tanto of the Yamato province, made after 1192. Bear in mind just how old this tanto blade is. To place it in perspective, it was made during the English timescale of the earliest Norman Crusades, and such times as when King Henry II was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by four knights (Richard Brito, Hugh de Morville, William Tracy, and Reginald Fitzurse) after Henry asks in a temper, "Will no man rid me of this meddlesome priest?". It was also during the era when Henry's son, King Richard the Lionheart was in conflict with Saladin during his Crusade that ended in his kidnapping during his return home. The Nabeshima clan controlled Saga Domain from the late Sengoku period through the Edo period.

The Nabeshima clan was a cadet branch of the Shoni clan and was descended from the Fujiwara clan. In the late 12th century, Fujiwara no Sukeyori, a descendant of Fujiwara no Hidesato in the 9th generation, received the title of Dazai Shoni (equivalent to that of vice-governor of the military government of Kyushu) from Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo, and the title became the family name.

The clan played an important role in the region as early as the Muromachi period, when it helped suppress opposition to the Ashikaga shogunate's control of Kyushu. It did not take the name Nabeshima, however, until the late 15th century, when Shoni Shigenao established himself at Nabeshima in Hizen province (today part of Saga City, Saga prefecture). Later, in the Sengoku period (1467-1603), the Nabeshima were one of a number of clans which clashed over the island. The Nabeshima sided with the Ryuzoji clan against the Otomo clan, though this ultimately ended in failure and the death of Ryuzoji Takanobu at the 1584 battle of Okita Nawate. Several years later, however, the Nabeshima recovered power and prominence by aiding Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his 1587 invasion of Kyushu; Nabeshima Naoshige was granted the region of Saga as his fief, as a reward for his efforts. Naoshige also contributed to Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s.

The clan initially aided Ishida Mitsunari against Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Sekigahara Campaign in 1600. However, they switched sides to support the Tokugawa, who were ultimately victorious, before the campaign had ended, battling and occupying the forces of Tachibana Muneshige, who was thus prevented from contributing directly to the battle of Sekigahara. Though regarded as tozama daimyo ("outside" lords), and assigned particularly heavy corvee duties, the Nabeshima were allowed to keep their territory in Saga, and in fact had their kokudaka increased. The clan's forces served the new Tokugawa shogunate loyally in the years which followed; they remained in Kyushu during the 1615 Osaka Campaign as a check against a possible rebellion or uprising by the Shimazu clan, and aided in the suppression of the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637. In recognition of their service, members of the clan were granted the prestigious family name Matsudaira in 1648.

During the Edo period, the clan's Saga domain became quite famous. There is a stunning picture in our gallery of a painting in the British Museum, by an unknown artist, of a retired samurai warrior of the Nabeshima clan wearing his identical very same form of tanto, bearing the plain rayskin bound hilt with it's Nabeshima Daki Myoga mon crest.

Code: 18804Price: 5850.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Japanese Shibayama Dragon Edo Tanto With a 500 Year Old Blade
Worthy of any museum collection of Japanese fine art. Similar examples of Japanese Shibayama can be seen in the great museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum, and the British Museum. A spectacular piece demonstrating the skill of the Edo Japanese carved ivory artisans. Fully decorated with finest carved ivory, mother of pearl and horn, dragons and insects in full takibori relief. The Shibayama technique is one of Japans greatest and most valuable high quality art forms and was named after Shibayama Dosho, who introduced it in Japan in the 18th century. It was used exclusively on items for import to the West. Shibayama artists inlaid with microscopic pieces of inlay, elaborately carved and on a ground of lacquer, to stand out in relief. Blade, Koto period, circa 1500. More photos to add. Signed kodzuka by kunisada, with hilt of a figure beneath a parasol holding a ken sword in pure gold décor. The blade will be repolished. 23 inches long overall

Code: 18803Price: 5400.00 GBP


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A Very Good English Sidelock Percussion Manstopper Pistol 1830
Finely engraved with micro chequered grip with flattened butt, octagonal barrel. A nice English large bore side hammer pocket pistol circa 1830. Scroll engraved side lock action with dolphin head hammer in excellent working condition. The heavy octagonal smooth bore barrel is Birmingham proofed and front sight with fixed v notch to the rear. Captive swivel ramrod. A very pretty medium size, big bore, man stopper pistol made in Birmingham around 1830 of very good quality. Designed to be carried in the coat pocket of a traveller or gentleman about town, to provide effective close range personal defence at a time when the forces of law and order were often patchy at best. In good condition with good bores and mechanics, nice finely chequered grips and good patinated steel metal work. A very nice pistol likely by one of the better Birmingham makers of the day. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables. We are having the action serviced.

Code: 18802Price: 875.00 GBP


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A Very Fine 18th Century Solid Silver Hilted Duelling Sword & Scabbard
Finely pierced and chiselled throughout the hilt. The shell guards are pierced with cannon and stands of arms, the grip is multitwist wire and flattened strip silver. The pommel is engraved and chisselled with helmet and trumpets and florid scrolls. The blade is colishmarde and the original scabbard is tooled brown leather. The colishmarde blades appeared in 1680 and were popular during the next 40 years at the royal European courts. The colichemarde bladed swords had a special popularity with the officers of the French and Indian War period. Even George Washington had a very fine one just as this example.

The colichemarde descended from the so-called "transition rapier", which appeared because of a need for a lighter sword, better suited to parrying. It was not so heavy at its point; it was shorter and allowed a limited range of double time moves.The colichemarde in turn appeared as a thrusting blade too and also with a good parrying level, hence the strange, yet successful shape of the blade.

This sword appeared at about the same time as the foil. However the foil was created for practising fencing at court, while the colichemarde was created for dueling. With the appearance of pocket pistols as a self-defense weapon, the colichemardes found an even more extensive use in dueling.
This was achieved thanks to a wide forte (often with several fullers), which then stepped down in width after the fullers ended.The result of this strange shape was a higher maneuverability of the sword: with the weight of the blade concentrated in one's hand it became possible to maneuver the blade at a greater speed and with a higher degree of control, allowing the fencer to place a precise thrust at his/her adversary. This sword is a true work of art, in it's beauty form, quality and balance. Uniquely it still has it's original, scabbard which is a rarity that is truly exceptional. The scabbard is in fabulous condition but the bottom few inches laking. We can have an old replacement chape made to fit.

Code: 18801Price: 3450.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Wakazashi Blade Eda-Kiku crest Omi-no-kami Minamoto Hisamichi,
Shinto period 18th century. The Kikumon is the chrysanthemum emblem. The Imperial Kiku mon with branches was an Imperial symbol awarded as a title of superior status, and awarded to both Hisamichi III and Hisamichi II which meant they were permitted to add it on the nakago of their blades. We believe this blade is by Hisamichi II. Hisamichi, [third generation] in Kyoto (Yamashiro) had accepted an invitation from Shogun [8th] Tokugawa Yoshimune, and visited Edo to re-produce the masterpiece [Konotegashiwa sword] in Mihama Palace. He also made a masterpiece [Wakasa-Masamune] exclusively for Shogun Yoshimune

Hisamichi II received his title on December 7th 1702 and was ordered by the Shogun to move to Edo in 1722. Active 1688 thru 1711 AD. The characteristics of his work include Gunome-choji Hamon with long ashi, kinsugi, nie, deep nioi and with Mishina boshi. His work styles are similar to that of the first generation. This is a beautiful blade and is ideal for both mounting in either shira saya [plain storage mount and/or fully remounting traditionally.

Code: 18800Price: 4450.00 GBP


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Very Nice Katana Signed Kaga Sadatsugu Circa 1550, Kabuki Fittings
It is said he came from the line of Kashu Ietsugu. The fittings are superb, fine quality, and of iron a Higo style russetted ground with shibuishi embellishments of a kabuki mask, gunsen war fan, court cap and stick of bells [suzu]. The fittings are all original antique Edo, and only the leather covering to it's original Edo wooden saya shows it was last used by an officer in WW2. The blade is simply beautiful, especially for a 450 year old example. Kabuki symbology is scarce and most popular when seen on Japanese sword koshirae. It is very attractive indeed, and reflects the ancient connection between Japanese theatre and it's popular subject of plays of famous samurai warfare and legendary conflicts. The Tsuba is engraved with the symbolic chrysanthemum on flowing water the revered Kikusui mon [chrysanthemum on water] of the Kusunoki clan and the Minotogawa. Antique original Sadatsugu smith made blades in swords of all kinds [Katana, Tanto, Wakazashi] have, on occasion, been regularly recorded with this symbol, either engraved on the tang or on koshirae, and we have seen it at least four or five times before over the past recent decade. One couldn't say for certain they are all connected, but the coincidence is quite intriguing. Kusunoki is one of the most highly regarded men of ancient Japanese samurai history, renown for his loyalty, although reviled as a traitor for a while due to his rebellion from the powers of the time. After the full-scale introduction of Neo-Confucianism as a state philosophy by the Tokugawa Shogunate, Kusunoki Masashige, once-called a traitor by the Northern Court, was resurrected with Emperor Go-Daigo as a precursor of Sino centric absolutists, based upon the Neo-Confucian theories. During the Edo period, scholars and samurai who were influenced by the Neo-Confucian theories created the legend of Kusunoki and enshrined him as a patriotic hero, called Nanko or Dai-Nanko who epitomized loyalty, courage, and devotion to the Emperor. Kusunoki later became a patron saint of sorts to the World War II kamikaze, who saw themselves as his spiritual heirs in sacrificing their lives for the Emperor. The history of kabuki began in 1603 when Izumo no Okuni, possibly a miko of Izumo Taisha, began performing a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto. It originated in the 17th century. Japan was under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, enforced by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The name of the Edo period derives from the relocation of the Tokugawa regime from its former home in Kyoto to the city of Edo, present-day Tokyo. Female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life. The style was immediately popular, and Okuni was asked to perform before the Imperial Court. In the wake of such success, rival troupes quickly formed, and kabuki was born as ensemble dance and drama performed by women—a form very different from its modern incarnation. Much of its appeal in this era was due to the ribald, suggestive themes featured by many troupes; this appeal was further augmented by the fact that the performers were often also available for prostitution.Sambaso is an auspicious ritual dance of ancient origin which was intended to appease the gods and bring good fortune. The Sambaso is supposed to have originated in the 9th century as a religious dance to thwart earthquakes. The Sambaso dance was performed at the beginning of the New Year at the start of the Kabuki season and before certain Noh plays, and it has served as a prelude to theatrical performances since the establishment of theater in Japan. The dancer wears a high hat with a red sun disc on either side, and he carries and shakes a rattle with bells. The sound of the bells was an important part of the Sambaso’s dance, and his dancing figure is said to be auspicious for good times. Suzu bells were once used to drive off demons. (A similar cluster of bells is on display at the Museum of Noh Artifacts in Sasayama, Japan.) The leather WW2 combat protection could easily removed and the traditional lacquer beneath restored to it's original antique apperance.

Code: 18799Price: 4995.00 GBP


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A Superb Silver Australian 5th Light Horse Mobile Infantry Badge
Excellent rare and original example [Wide Bay and Burnett Light Horse] Queensland Mobile Infantry. The history of the 5th Light Horse is distinguished and goes thus; The 5th Light Horse Regiment was raised in Brisbane in September 1914, entirely from men who had enlisted in Queensland, and became part of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. Sailing from Sydney on 21 December 1914, the regiment disembarked in Egypt on 1 February 1915.

The light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade landed in late May 1915 and was attached to the 1st Australian Division. The 5th Light Horse played a defensive role for most of the campaign but was involved in several minor attacks. It left the peninsula on 20 December 1915.

Back in Egypt, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade became part of the ANZAC Mounted Division and in February 1916 joined the forces defending the Suez Canal from a Turkish advance across the Sinai Desert. The 5th Light Horse’s main activity in the Sinai was long-range patrolling, but it was involved in several small engagements during August, as the Turks retreated after their defeat at Romani.

The ANZAC Mounted Division advanced into Palestine in late December 1916. The 5th’s work predominantly continued to be patrols and raids until the advance stalled before the Turkish bastion of Gaza. The regiment participated in all three battles aimed at capturing the town, most notably the first abortive attempt on 27 March 1917. On this occasion the 5th attacked Gaza from the rear and was fighting its way through streets and gardens when ordered to withdraw.

With the fall of Gaza on 7 November 1917, the Turkish position in southern Palestine collapsed. The 5th was involved in the pursuit that followed, and then spent much of the first half of 1918 holding the west bank of the Jordan River. During this time it was involved in the Amman (24–27 February) and Es Salt (30 April–4 May) raids, both of which were tactical failures but helped to convince the Turks that the next offensive would be launched across the Jordan.

Instead, the offensive was launched along the coast in September 1918, with the 5th taking part in a subsidiary effort east of the Jordan. It attacked at Amman on 25 September, and on 29 September 4,500 Turks surrendered to just two squadrons from the regiment at Ziza. Turkey surrendered on 31 October 1918, but the 5th Light Horse was employed one last time to assist in putting down the Egyptian revolt of early 1919. It sailed for home on 28 June 1919. Text from AWM
One of the most famous men of the 5th Light Horse was sniper Trooper Sing at Gallipoli. Trooper Sing sniped from a position known as Chatham's Post, his tally stated as 150 confirmed, but a higher informal estimate puts his tally at 201. The discrepancy can be accounted for by the way such hits were recorded. On 23 October 1915, General Birdwood issued an order containing his compliments on Trooper Billy Sing's performance accounting for the 201 Turks. Private Sing was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre in early 1918, probably for his role in leading a patrol eliminating some German snipers at Polygon Wood in September 1917. Studio portrait in the gallery is of 1707 Lance Corporal (L Cpl) John James Marsh, 5th Light Horse Regiment from Murraria, Queensland. A 21 year old grocer prior to enlisting on 18 August 1915, he embarked for overseas with the 11th Reinforcements from Sydney on 21 October 1915 aboard HMAT Hawkes Bay. He served with the regiment in the Middle East where he was wounded in action at Gaza and died on 6 November 1917. L Cpl Marsh is buried in the Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel. Original badge, pattern1930/42, with two lug fixing in superb order and superb quality definition.

Code: 18796Price: 295.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Ancient Koto Katana, Formerly, Probably, an Odachi, Circa 1450
A big sword of great impression. Odachi were extremely long and very rare swords, used in battle in the ancient samurai warring days. Odachi are now near extinct to the collecting world, as 99% [that survived the long centuries at all] were cut down from it's base several hundred years ago [as this sword likely was] to be a more usable katana. It is around 500 to 550 years old. Mounted with very fine semi tachi mountings of a kabutogane and matching brass fushi and menuki of flowers under a leather battle wrap. The sword is o-suriagi with a three hole tang, and with a bottom straight across cut, and now has a traditional, reduced [from the hilt end] length blade of 29 inches from tsuba to tip, still very long for ancient surviving katana, and overall it's 42 inches inches long in saya. A fine blade with a vibrant, undulating gunome hamon. This sword is an absolute beauty, both ancient and enchanting and certainly stirs the imagination. A saya of simple black lacquer. The tsuba is o-sukashi. The tang has several intersperced mekugiana, which would indicate it was an incredibly long odachi. To qualify as an odachi, the sword in question must have had an original blade length over 3 shaku (35.79 inches or 90.91 cm). However, as with most terms in Japanese sword arts, there is no exact definition of the size of an ?dachi. The odachi's importance died off after the Siege of Osaka of 1615 (the final battle between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyori). The Bakufu government set a law which prohibited holding swords above a set length (in Genna 3 (1617), Kan'ei 3 (1626) and Sh?h? 2 (1645)).
After the law was put into practice, odachi were cut down to the shorter legal size. This is one of the reasons why odachi are so rare.
Odachi were very difficult to produce because their length makes heat treatment in a traditional way more complicated: The longer a blade is, the more difficult (or expensive) it is to heat the whole blade to a homogenous temperature, both for annealing and to reach the hardening temperature. The quenching process then needs a bigger quenching medium because uneven quenching might lead to warping the blade.

The method of polishing is also different. Because of their size, Odachi were usually hung from the ceiling or placed in a stationary position to be polished, unlike normal swords which are moved over polishing stones.
A fine blade with a vibrant, undulating gunome hamon. The early print in the gallery of Hiyoshimaru meets Koroku on Yahagibashi, showing nodachi or odachi

Code: 18795Price: 4750.00 GBP


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A Most Charming Edo Patinated Copper and Silver Onlaid Katana Tsuba
Depicting a contemplating cat crouched beneath a bush, signed on the reverse side Moritake. The Tsuba, or Japanese sword guard, is a refined utilitarian object. It is essentially a sheath for the blade to fit through, protecting the hand of the warrior. The Tsuba can be solid, semi pierced of fully pierced, with an overall perforated design, but it always a central opening which narrows at its peak for the blade to fit within. It often can have openings for the kozuka and kogai to pass through, and these openings can also often be filled with metal to seal them closed. For the Samurai, it also functioned as an article of distinction, as his sole personal ornament. Tsuba are usually finely decorated, and are highly desirable collectors' items in their own right. Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated. In addition to being collectors items, they were often used as heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. Tsuba can be found in a variety of metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, copper and shakudo. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai pushing tsuba against each other. 73mm x 75mm

Code: 18794Price: 465.00 GBP

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