K83. Nicely Mounted Mumei Tanto, I Say Tegai
K83. Mumei tanto in koshirae.
Nagasa: 11 3/4″ 29.8 cm.
Sori: .5 cm.
Moto haba: 3.4 cm.
Moto kasane: .55 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 3 7/8″ 9.8 cm.
Overall length in koshirae: 19 1/4″ 49 cm.
Hira-zukuri, mitsu mune (3 sided), the hori-mono is a riitual ken on the omote and gomabashi-hi with a bonji on the ura. There are 3 holes in the nakago, 2 of them are connected, and one of the 2 and the single ana are plugged with silver. The hada is ko-itame. The hamon is suguba with shallow undulations, a bright and consistent nioi-guchi covered in fine ko-nie. On each side there is an instance of koiguchigaiba (see the pictures with white x), there is sunagashi, and the hamon becomes nijuba (double) above the koiguchigaiba and lower down on the omote. The strongly swept (kakkikake) boshi is chu-maru with a hint of jizo, followed by a medium long kaeri. The blade is, with the exception of one tiny pit, flawless and in polish (no stains, corrosion, or scratches and it isn’t tired). The habaki is brass.
The koshirae is aikuchi (without tsuba). The saya is black lacquer (a few tiny dings; otherwise flawless) and mounted with a horn kurigata & koi guchi and a silver kojiri which appears to have a small cross (hidden Christian?) included. There is a sleeve for kotsuka/kogatana but they are missing. The tsuka is wrapped with leather, the fuchi is horn to match the koi guchi, and the kashira is copper with Kanji at either corner and a tiny #25 stamped above one of the Kanji (no idea what that’s about). The menuki are habachi (I believe) with gold and silver inlay. There is a shallow cut across the tsuka-ito; otherwise everything is in great condition and all fits together fine. The blade will come in a silk? brocade bag.
Koiguchigaiba is the classic tell for Yamato Tegai. I think the sugata, amount the blade has been polished down, and the surface on the nakago are consistent with Nambokucho work. If I was giving this tanto a paper it would say 2nd or 3rd generation of one of the mainline Tegai smiths. I think this is very fine work; one of you will be pleased to own it. 1 pound. Was $2,450; now $1,950.