Sekishu Juyo samurai katana sells for $134,500 at Bonhams

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:01:29

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Sekishu Juyo samurai katana sells for $134,500 at Bonhams

Bonhams' first Arts of the Samurai auction saw a Sekishu Juyo katana sell as top lot

A fine Sekishu Juyo katana has provided the highest bids in Bonhams' Arts of the Samurai auction,held yesterday (October 16) in New York.

Sekishu Naotsuna katanaAn unusually weighty piece, the sword is characteristic of Naotsuna's work

The magnificent blade was produced in Japan's Nanbokucho period (14th century) by Sekishu Naotsuna, a highly respected swordsmith of the Iwami Province on Honshu.

Naotsunais believed to have been one of the 10 great students of Masamune, who is generally considered to be the finest swordsmith in Japanese history, achieving almost legendary status through myths surrounding his life.

The katana was an unusually broad, wide and weighty piece with a finely forged body. Its expertly crafted form meets all the characteristics typically seen in the work of Naotsuna.

The sword was accompanied by a wooden storage scabbard (shirasaya) and a certificate from the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (The Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword), which designates it the 45th Juyo Token (precious sword) no. 10595. It brought $134,500 against a $125,000-150,000 estimate.

Myochin Samurai helmetFurther Myochin armour pieces can be found in London's V&A Museum

Elsewhere, the auction's striking cover lot provided one of the most exciting results, selling 25% above its $20,000-30,000 valuation at $37,500. The bird-shaped helmet dates to 1789 and was manufactured by Myochin Muneyasu, head of the Shonai Myochin armourers. Further examples of his work can be found in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Read more about collecting antique samurai arms and armour here.

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