Ceremonial Arrowhead (Yanone)

Steel-chiseler Umetada Motoshige Japanese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 377

Large arrowheads, pierced and elaborately chiseled with landscapes, birds, flowers, dragons, and Buddhist divinities, were created to be admired for the beauty of their metalwork and design rather than for use in archery. This arrowhead is dated 1645 and signed by Umetada Motoshige (died 1675), a member of the Umetada school of swordsmiths, tsuba makers, and iron chiselers. It belongs to a group of more than thirty similarly signed and dated pieces in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (including acc. nos. 32.75.318, .321, .327, .330, .334, .337, .340, .398–.399, .403, .406, .409) that may have been made for presentation or as a votive offering to a shrine.

Ceremonial Arrowhead (<i>Yanone</i>), Umetada Motoshige (Japanese, Edo period, died 1675), Steel, Japanese

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Detail; Side a