Q401. Osafune Sukesada Katana with Handachi Koshirae, Hozon Paper
Q401. Katana signed, Bishu Osafune Sukesada and dated Eisho Ju Hachi Nen (1521).
Nagasa: 24 13/16″ 63 cm.
Sori: 2 cm.
Moto haba: 3 cm.
Moto kasane: .7 cm.
Saki haba: 2.1 cm.
Saki kasane: .4 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 5 5/8″ 14.3 cm.
Overall in shirasaya: 35 3/4″ 91 cm.
Shinogi zukuri, koshi sori, iore mune, chu kissaki. The hada is a tight and fine itame mokume sparkling with ji-nie: a first class hada that is exceedingly well done. There is bo-utsuri and midare utsuri. Tha hamon is suguba with areas of very shallow notare, worked in a bright and consistent nioi guchi covered in ko-nie. There are sunagashi and areas of kinsugi presenting as nijuba. The boshi is a continuation of the hamon, ending in ko-maru and a kaeri. Other than for one instance of a running masame (maybe 1 cm in length) and a couple spots of slightly coarse grain an inch or so above the machi on the ura, the blade is flawless. It comes mounted with a double silver foil habaki and in quality shirasaya with horn at the koiguchi and mekugi. The blade comes with a Hozon paper from the NBTHK dated 2015.
There is koshirae also. Handachi (half tachi) style with the fuchi, kashira, kurikata, and kojiri all ensuite, worked in what I believe is shibuichi, an alloy of copper and silver.. The tsuba is iron sukashi of a pine tree; it puts me in mind of the work of Higo. The menuki are gilt copper of dragons. The same’ has been black lacquered; the tsuka-ito (handle wrap) is a slightly unusual style and in excellent condition. Black lacquer saya with 5 mon (family crests): this is in great condition with only a few very shallow dents between it and perfect.
Late Koto swords signed Sukesada and in suguba hamon usually don’t get a second look; they aren’t exciting. This one is different and deserves many looks. Good quality suguba is more difficult to pull off than other hamons and this one is quite good quality. And the hada is just lovely. 4 pounds, 2 ounces. $4,975.