LOVELY TANTO BY BIZEN HARUMITSU
This is a very nice tanto that is signed and dated by the Bizen smith, Harumitsu. The signature reads Bizen (no) Kuni Ju Osafune Harumitsu Saku. The ura is dated as having been made in Tenbun Niju Nen Juni Gatsu Yokka (made on fourth of December, 1541). There were several smiths who worked under this name and this date corresponds to the time of the second generation Harumitsu. It should be noted, however, that on occasion there were times when more than one smith of this name was active. This tanto is typical of one of the two types that were made by the Bizen smiths in the late Muromachi Era. The nagasa is 7.5 inches or 19.1 cm. The moto-haba is 0.73 inches or 1.84 cm and the saki-haba is 0.53 inches or 1.34 cm. The kasane is 0.21 inches or 0.54 cm. The hada is a beautiful ko-mokume with ji nie forming lots of chikei. There is one tiny lamination separation as can be seen (greatly enlarged) in the photos above. Other than that, the hada is perfect which is truly amazing for a blade of this age. The hamon is a narrow suguha with a bright nioi guchi as one would expect from the Harumitsu smiths of Bizen. The nakago is long in relation to the length of the blade and this, also, is typical of the swords of this time. There is utsuri on both sides of the blade, indicative of the Bizen school.
This blade comes with a very tasteful koshirae. The tsuka is covered in unwrapped same with family mons (of the type used by the Hosokawa family). There is a solid silver waribashi kogai with a karakusa pattern. The saya is lacquered black with some outstanding lacquer work depicting Shoki (one of the four demon killing Kings of Heaven) among some iris blooms. The koshirae comes in a custom made wooden box.
This blade comes with NBTHK Hozon papers attesting to the validity of the signature and the quality of the sword.
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