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Japanese Matchlock Carbine help -- barrel designs in gold wire

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I am looking for some help with my matchlock carbine.  It has barrel designs that I haven't seen before.  


Members--please, reply via private message.  Thank you!




The barrel designs are in gold wire.  The design which I am intriqued by is a fleur-de-lis.  The French sent 15 military advisors to teach the Satsuma samurai Western methods.  That's why I am curious about this matchlock carbine. 


The dragon is done in gold and silver. 



And help would be appreciated.  Thank you.






--Matthew Brice






















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Matthew,  That is indeed a curious decoration and not as far as I can see a kamon. As you say it may well be a compliment to the French military advisers. When the Japanese sent King James I (and VI) of England armours, one which was composite has dragons and clouds  in those places which would normally have kamon. I have always assumed they did not either know or understand the heraldry used in England at that time and played safe.

Ian Bottomley.

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Haha!  :) Matt, thanks.


The gun itself is a fairly standard Japanese snapping matchlock with a decorative muzzle. 


You might get more joy with the signature if you take a couple more differently angled shots and post all three in the translation section. 上 seems to stand out, but 上...? Kami/Ue....? 源? Minamoto? the rest are done in a flowery style that plays tricks with the old eyes. 

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