A matchlock with silver inlays, signed Umetada Matchlock
Lot 1205
A rare matchlock gun by the Umetada group Edo period (17th-18th century)
US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£12,000 - 18,000

Lot Details
A matchlock with silver inlays, signed Umetada Matchlock
A rare matchlock gun by the Umetada group
Edo period (17th-18th century)
The large-bore barrel forged in iron and well-hammered on the surface and with a hexagonal muzzle and sights, set into a wood handle and decorated over all with pine needles, gingko leaves, acorns, maple leaves, cherry blossoms and a single hollyhock leaf in silver nunome-zogan and hira-zogan, signed in silver inlay Yamashiro kuni Umetada tsukuru kore
43 1/2in (110.5cm) long; 3/4in (1.9cm) bore

Footnotes

  • Firearm technology was introduced to Japan in the 16th century by Portuguese traders and quickly became a popular way to arm lowly foot soldiers with minimal training and turn them into a valuable asset in battle.

    Japanese matchlocks often had their barrels decorated with overlay (nunome) in gold or silver as in this instance. The more decorative versions were intended for display rather than use, to be carried in processions or exhibited on racks.

    Extant examples of this type were frequently left unsigned, or signed on the underside of the barrel, this piece is unusual in that the maker's signature is prominently visible on the top of the barrel at its base.
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