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Lot 26P: 関丹波國秀 - Seki Tanba Kunihide, Gunto full Katana Japanese sword 97 cm, with leather scabbard, 1872-1945

Eternity Gallery

August 14, 2022
Tampa, FL, US

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Description

関丹波國秀 - Seki Tanba Kunihide, Gunto full Katana Japanese sword 97 cm, with leather scabbard, 1872-1945. Swordsmith: signed on nakago with six (6) characters: 関住丹波国秀 = Kunihide Sekizumi Tanba, Seki Tanba Kunihide (by order). Kunihide became an RJT smith for the Army, and might have a 'star' stamp above his name. Once accepted as an Army Certified Swordsmith (Rikugun Jumei Tosho), the smith was given a regular allocation of tamehagane with which to make sword blades. If you look at the nakago above the signature you can see clearly a small sign, which is smaller than a character. The sign looks like a bush or a fir-tree with 5 horizontal lines, 1 vertical and 2 legs at the bottom. Overall length with scabbard: 98 cm = 38.58 inches; Length of the blade (nagasa) only: 69 cm = 27.16 inches; Weight of the sword: 990 g; Total weight of sword + scabbard = 1245 g; Sori (curvature): 18 mm; Nakago (tang): present with 6 characters: 関住丹波国秀; Shamon effect: prominent through the whole length and beautiful; Habaki (collar) – present; TSUKA (handle): present; Leather SAYA (scabbard): present; Provenance: Private collection of arms in Florida. The katana belongs to the nihontō family of swords, and is distinguished by a blade length (nagasa) of more than 2 shaku, approximately 60 cm (24 in).[9] The guntō (軍刀, military sword) was a ceremonial sword produced for the Imperial Japanese army and navy after the introduction of conscription in 1872.[1] The shin guntō (新軍刀, new military sword) was a weapon and symbol of rank used by the Imperial Japanese Army between the years of 1935 and 1945. During most of that period, the swords were manufactured at the Toyokawa Naval Arsenal. In response to rising nationalism within the armed forces, a new style of sword was designed for the Japanese military in 1934. The shin guntō was styled after a traditional slung tachi of the Kamakura Period (1185-1332). Officers' ranks were indicated by coloured tassels tied to a loop at the end of the hilt. The corresponding colors were brown-red and gold for generals; brown and red for field officers; brown and blue for company or warrant officers; brown for sergeants, sergeants major or corporals.[11] The blades found in shin guntō ranged from modern machine made blades through contemporary traditionally-manufactured blades to ancestral blades dating back hundreds of years. After the Second World War's conclusion, most produced guntō were made to resemble the traditionally cloth wrapped shin-gunto swords, but out of a solid metal casting. On later models the hilts were made of aluminum and painted to resemble the lacing (ito) on officer's shin-guntō swords. These swords will have serial numbers on their blades and are nearly always machine made. If the sword is all original, the serial numbers on the blade, tsuba, saya and all other parts should match.

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