Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Blade and Mounting for a Dagger (Tantō)

Blade attributed to Momokawa Nagayoshi (Japanese, active early 15th century)
Fittings maker:
Mounting inscribed by Kanō Natsuo (Japanese, 1828–1898)
blade, mid–late 14th century; mounting, 19th century
Steel, wood, lacquer, gold, silver, copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), copper-gold alloy (shakudō), copper
L. 13 7/16 in. (34.2 cm); L. of blade 11 5/16 in. (28.8 cm); L. of cutting edge 8 5/16 in. (21.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Brayton Ives and W. T. Walters, 1891
Accession Number:
Not on view
Natsuo is consdered the last great maker of sword fittings, and this dagger is one of his masterpieces. The lacquer work is by Shibata Zeshin (1801–1891), one of Japan's leading nineteenth-century lacquer artists.
Inscription: Inscribed on a piece of the hilt (kibata-mei): 夏・雄 (Natsu / o); on the scabbard: 是真 ([Zeshin?]): on the pommel cap (kashira): 夏雄 (Natsuo); on the cord knob (kurigata): 古意 (Koi); on the strenghtening bar (uragawara): 古意 (Koi); on the chape (kojiri): 夏雄 (Natsuo); on the knife handle (kozuka): (印銘文詮)抱一画併題夏雄(花押) ((In-mei: Bunsen) Hōitsu ga awasete daisu Natsuo (kaō)) ([Stamped seal: Bunsen] Natsuo, reproducing a painting by Hōitsu [monogram]); on the knife blade (kogatana): 日本金工 (Nihon kinkō) (Japanese metalsmith); on the hairdressing tool (kōgai): 夏雄(花押) (Natsuo (kaō)).
Brayton C. Ives, New York (until 1891; his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, March 9, 1891 and following days, to Walters); W. T. Walters, New York (1891; his gift to MMA).
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