Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Blades and Mountings for a Pair of Swords (Daishō)

Swordsmith:
Long sword (katana) blade inscribed by Sukemitsu of Bizen (Japanese, Bizen, Muromachi period, active ca. 1440)
Swordsmith:
Short sword (wakizashi) blade attributed to Yasumitsu (Japanese, Muromachi period, 15th century)
Fittings maker:
Set of sword mountings by Iwamoto Konkan (Japanese, Edo period, 1744–1801)
Date:
sword (katana) blade, dated 1440; short sword (wakizashi) blade, 15th century; mountings, late 18th century
Culture:
Japanese
Medium:
Steel, wood, lacquer, copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), gold, copper, rayskin, silk
Dimensions:
L. of sword (katana) 34 1/8 in. (86.7 cm); L. of sword (katana) blade 25 1/4 in. (64.1 cm); L. of sword (katana) scabbard 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm); L. of short sword (wakizashi) 26 in. (66.0 cm); L. of short sword (wakizashi) blade 20 3/4 in. (52.7 cm); L. of short sword (wakizashi) scabbard 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm); L. of knife (kozuka) for short sword (wakizashi) mounting 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Gift of Howard Mansfield, 1936
Accession Number:
36.120.417a, b, .418a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 378
This is the only known complete set of daishō mountings by Iwamoto Konkan, one of the most famous makers of sword fittings in the eighteenth century. The artist's inscription identifies the patron as Iwata Takanori and the design as the Six Tama Rivers.
Inscription: Inscribed on the tang of the sword (katana) blade: Ei-kio ju-ni-nen hachi gwatsu Sukemitsu, Osafune (8th month of the 12th year of the period Ei-kio [which is August, 1440]); on the sword guard (tsuba) and hilt collard (fuchi) for the sword (katana): Iwamoto Konkan [with kakihan]; on the sword guard (tsuba) and hilt collar (fuchi) for the short sword (wakizashi): Iwamoto Konkwan [with kakihan]; on the reverse of the knife handle (kozuka) for the short sword (wakizashi): Iwata Takanori no motome in ozu Mu Tamagawa no zu Iwamoto Konkwan kore wo chokosu (Made at the request of Takanori; design of Six Tama Rivers; Iwamoto Konkwan designed and chiseled this); on the blade of the knife (kozuka) for the short sword (wakizashi): Kuniyoshi.
Howard Mansfield, New York City (until 1936; his gift to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Asian Art," April, 1987–November, 1989.

Grancsay, Stephen V., and Alan Priest. "Japanese Metalwork, Nō Masks, and Textiles in the Howard Mansfield Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (October 1937), p. 229, fig. 1.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Japanese Armor Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Connoisseur (September 1961), p. 17, ill.

Boger, Batterson H. The Traditional Arts of Japan: A Complete Illustrated Guide. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964. p. 118, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer, 1991), pp. 62–64, ill.

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