Q732. Papered Ken with Owner's Inscription
Q732. Ken in shirasaya.
Nagasa: 8 1/4″ 21 cm.
Moto haba: 2.3 cm.
Moto kasane: .5 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 3 1/2″ 9 cm.
Overall in shirasaya: 15 1/8″ 38.5 cm.
The hada is masame itame. The hamon is a bright and consistent nioi guchi covered in ko-nie: shallow undulations of gunome, notare, and choji like elements, done with sunagashi and kinsuji. The blade is flawless and mounted with a foil habaki (tarnished silver or possibly shibuichi and there are a couple dings in the foil). The saya of the shirasaya is wrapped in cling plastic to keep it clean. This will peel right off and won’t leave a trace if you want it to disappear.
The inscription reads, Chiba no Suke Taira Nobutane Kore o Shojisu. This is not the signature of the swordsmith, rather a note saying the ken was carried (owned) by Chiba no Suke Taira Nobutane. Quite uncommon.
This ken was submitted for shinsa at the recent Chicago sword show. The NTHK-NPO gave it to Edo Suishinshi Hideyo of the Kaei era (1848 – 53). Hideyo was a student of Taikei Naotane and the son-in-law of Suishinshi Masahide (big names); he is rated Jo Saku in Fujishiro. This will come with the shinsa worksheet and in a few months, when I receive the paper, I will forward it to you.
The word that comes to mind for this one is Sweet. Very well made and in excellent condition: it will be a joy to own, just as I’m sure it was for Mr. Nobutane. 12 ounces. $1,950.