Short sword - wakizashi or 'companion-sword'. Hilt of rayskin wrapped with plain black cord or tape. Rayskin has a flat, smooth surface rather than usual rough surface. Gilt and copper menuki - one of a man with a fan and a large carp; the other is difficult to discern as most of it is under the wrapping. Plain kashira, but fuchi has a floral-like design. Iron tsuba with openings for kozuka and kogai and a pierced design similar to 'hearts'. The habaki is gilded and has a stylised cloud (?) design in relief on it. The number '9' is also present on the habaki. The scabbard is lacquered with a design in brown that appears to have been made by brushing a comb across wet paint before the final lacquer coat was applied. Kurikata with no cord. Harmon or temper line appears to be a straightish line.
Inside the saya (sword cover) I can see the word "An sei". Ansei is period name and there are number 2. So I guess this is made in 1856 or 1857. This is close to the year of Perry's expedition to Japan. —Ken Lee
MeasurementsMaximum dimensions (H x W x D): 632 x 71 x 64mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - Sword): 595 x 71 x 64mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - Scabbard): 475 x 36 x 24mm
Length (Blade): 436mm
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