Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Blade and Mounting for a Short Sword (Wakizashi)

Swordsmith:
Unsigned, but probably by Udakunimitsu (Japanese, active mid–late 14th century)
Date:
blade, mid–late 14th century; mounting, late 19th century; grip ornaments, late 16th century; hilt collar, 17th century; hairdressing tool, 17th century; sword guard, late 17th–early 18th century
Culture:
Japanese
Medium:
Steel, wood (rosewood), lacquer, copper-gold alloy (shakudō), copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), gold, copper, enamel
Dimensions:
L. 23 7/16 in. (59.6 cm); L. of blade 21 5/16 in. (54.2 cm); L. of cutting edge 15 11/16 in. (39.8 cm); D. of curvature 3/16 in. (0.5 cm)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Gift of Brayton Ives and W. T. Walters, 1891
Accession Number:
91.2.48
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 378
Due to the fashion for shorter swords in later centuries, the tang of this blade was trimmed by about four inches (ten centimeters), resulting in the loss of the bladesmith's signature. The mounting was designed to appeal to European and American tastes.
Inscription: Inscribed on the knife handle (kozuka): 相坂主氷心子焠 (Shu Aisaka no tame ni Hyōshinshi kore wo yaku).
Ex. coll.: Brayton Ives (cat. no. 453).
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