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Feudal warlord's European-style rapier was created in Japan

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Fascinating. The Asian art museum in Lisbon, Portugal has an impressive collection of 17th century Japanese art and militaria which evidently was quite popular among the elite in that period. Incredible how much cultural and artistic exchange there was between two comparatively isolated societies on opposite sides of the world in those days. 

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I got a kick from this passage[ "Rapiers were commonly used to stick enemies in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries." John

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Overall the opinion on the origin of this rapier was made by someone not entirely familiar with a construction of European swords. Its not uncommon, as quite a few objects brought to Japan by foreign trade as late as the 19th century are being described as Japanese works from Kyushu.

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Sorry gents, but it seems that the article has been taken down for some reason. I even tried to search it with the title of this topic (which is the exact headline of the article), but to no avail.

 

If someone knows how to retrieve it please chime in!

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You can read half the article in Japanese but eventually you will hit a pay wall anyway.

The bit about ‘stick enemies’ was a poor translation. In the original J it says that rapiers were designed for thrusting and puncturing.

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10 minutes ago, Peter Bleed said:

I am very suspicious. The x-ray showing regular threads does not look 17th century to me.

Peter


The Japanese used a pretty similar technique to

fit breech blocks on matchlocks in the 17th century. Japanese craftsmen were remarkably good at hand carving threads and then using the threaded section as a mandrel to retain a softer metal piece that was work fitted around them. 

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1 hour ago, Peter Bleed said:

I am very suspicious. The x-ray showing regular threads does not look 17th century to me.

Peter

tbreads  Have existed since 400BC

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Thank you for the insights. I remain suspicious. These threads strike me as 1) regular, 2) fine, and 3) sharp in ways that I am not used to seeing on early Japanese fire arms. The apparent design of how the threaded tang was worked into the iron pommel strikes me as essentially unlike anything I have seen. I see nothing like this in Yukichi Iwata's volume on fasteners and guns.

Peter

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I can't say anything about this item, but a lot of Momoya Namban treasures are in actuality results of 19th century trade acquired by older clans and then redated in the 20th century to a famous 16th century Daimyo. A basic knowledge of either Continental Asian or European swords is probably absent from the community.

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Kirill said

"A basic knowledge of either Continental Asian or European swords is probably absent from the community."

And I would agreed strongly. "Japanese  sword experts" know a great deal about Japanese swords, but they tend to have incomplete understanding of European and even East Asian swords.

Peter

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There is a presumption that any blade displaying folding and forging lines in going to be eastern or even Japanese in origin. In fact until cast steel became common in the mid 19th century folding, layering and forging was universally the only way of producing a steel blade. In many places they made a feature of it, pattern welding in western swords, twist core in Turkish and Filipino blades and pamor in Indonesia. This is why I posted the link to the other rapier with a watered steel pattern blade.The same for inserted edges and edge hardening

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