Focus On Japanese Meiji Period Metalwork

With the Summer season of shows now firmly behind us we continue in our quest to scour the globe for world class objects from the Meiji period.

A recent overseas acquisition prompted me to write this short blog about the sheer brilliance of the late Edo and Meiji period metalworkers, I feel incredibly privileged to handle and pass on the amount of high quality Japanese works of art that I am fortunate enough to own , and all to often I do not have enough time with them to fully appreciate the amazing artistry .

Very occasionally certain Japanese items stop you in your tracks and leave you almost breathless , your heart racing so much that you really do need time to consider what is actually in front of you , unwrapping this Weapon (link below) was one of those rare and exhilarating moments, when you know deep inside that you have found the absolute best available, having never even dreamed of owning a certain object and having no previous experience of it , something just tells you ? , it is difficult to fully explain this emotion but so wonderful to have it !!

It is sometimes easy to forget the fact that the Edo and Meiji period metalworkers and their forefathers were actually sword smiths and worked for centuries primarily for the ruling Tokugawa family, manufacturing the very best steel blades, as well as sword fittings such as Tsuba , Fuschi- Koshira , Kozuka and Menuki .

Can you imagine that in 1868 and under the rule of the new Emperor Meiji their world was about to change for ever, no longer were the Samurai able to wear their swords in public, this lead to an almost stagnant market in the manufacturing of such weaponry and fittings , workers were forced to either use their skills to manufacture goods for the emerging export market, or not have the ability to feed their family, most seemed able to turn their incredible talents to the manufacture of export wares such as Vases , Boxes , Koro and other lavish mixed metal objects , others continued to make Tsuba and sword fittings aimed more towards the tourist market , from these humble beginnings emerged the greatest metalworkers ever put on this planet, as far as I and many others are concerned .

Allow me to share the details of this exceptional Japanese O-Tanto Wakizashi with you, currently reserved for the August featured item in our exclusive members area : Link

It seems impossible to add anything more meaningful to this particular post , and as such I wish you all a happy Summer break whatever you are doing.

Best Wishes

Steve & Ryan

Steve Sly Japanese Works of Art