Q442. Katana by Shodai Soboro Sukehiro with Kanzan Sayagaki
Q442. Katana signed Sesshu Ju Fujiwara Sukehiro.
Nagasa: 27 7/8″ 70.8 cm.
Sori: .9 cm.
Moto haba: 3.2 cm.
Moto kasane: .8 cm.
Saki haba: 2.1 cm.
Saki kasane: .5 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 7 9/16″ 19.2 cm.
Overall in shirasaya: 38 3/4″ 97 cm.
Shinogi zukuri, iore mune, small chu kissaki, koshi zori, ubu one hole. The hada is itame/ko-itame and mokume with chikei. The hamon is gunome midare with elements tending towards choji, with strong ashi and a bit of sunagashi, all in a bright and consistent nioi guchi covered in ko-nie. The boshi is a swept o-maru with a short kaeri. There are a few pin pricks of slightly loose grain (hardly worth mentioning) and nothing else I would call a defect. The top 2 characters of the mei, Sesshu, have been worn mostly away; no idea why or how that happened. The polish is quite well done and intact. This is mounted with a gold foil habaki and in good quality shirasaya (the tsuka of the shirasaya is split a bit at a join but still holding together just fine). There is no paper but the long saya-gaki by Dr. Kanzan Sato speaks to the validity of the mei and the quality of the work.
Saboro Sukehiro is thought to have been born in Tsuda, Harima Province, sometime near the turn of the 17th century. He later moved to Osaka to take up study with 1st generation Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke. Few of his swords are dated but those we have are grouped around the middle of the 1600’s. His successor, nidai Echizen no Kami Tsuda Sukehiro, is much more famous but he was no slouch; Fujishiro has him rated as Jo Jo Saku.
So, an ubu katana in excellent condition by a well respected and important smith, with sayagaki by Kanzan: not half bad. 2 pounds, 12 ounces. $3,500.