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2 New Tanegashima

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SA keeps surprising me. Just like those yari and naginata I picked up recently that I thought would never be floating around here, a week ago I was checking an estate sale by one of the large household auction houses here, and was flabbergasted (10 points for using flabbergasted in a sentence) to see a Japanese matchlock listed among the items. Then I was sad when I saw the auction ended 2 days before.
Then I was glad again, when I saw that lot had been passed, without reaching reserve. THEN I was stunned to see there was another one! Also passed over.
Short story long, I called them, asked if I could make an offer, made one on each that was about 1/3 what they go for overseas....and it was accepted!
So yeah, very broke again, but just received them.
One very generic....very similar to one I have. And missing the pan cover, amaooi and wedge. i find most matchlocks are missing some parts.
Condition is fair...flash hole is open. Haven't stripped it yet, they've just arrived and sitting on my office table. But I am hoping  (and guessing) it's signed. We shall see. Likely sell it to help pay for the other.
The other is a gem for me. Sakai matchlock from what I have learned from Piers' posts, with onion shaped muzzle. Complete with pan cover, amaooi, wedge etc. Both function well. Bit of loose brass sheet to pin down, but nothing serious.
Have taken the barrel off, LOTS of rust under, but I'll do some gentle TLC. Can see a signature. Interesting that this one is round on top of the barrel all the way.
And octagonal (well, HALF of octagonal) underneath.
Both not large caliber, so maybe hunting guns?

Anyways, pics of the first one here, and of the second one in a reply. Quite chuffed to dig up stuff that I didn't think was floating round South Africa.









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Pier, pics of the mei on the onion-muzzle presumed Sakai.
Rust prevents the viewing of some of the kanji, others are visible. Hoping you can make some of it out. 3 Kanji on one flat, and a row on the other.
Don't want to overclean, so just oiling and wiping. As expected, bisen appears stuck. *sigh*

Thanks anyone for any info on the kanji.








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Yes, Brian, 半巻張 which suggests an older gun to me.

The smith is one of the Enamiya House in Sesshū. (I’m just working on his individual name.)

摂州住榎並屋…. 作兵衛(?)


There were at least 120 Enamiya gunsmiths, but that last name is so faint. I’m guessing it’s one of these or a close artisan.





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Thanks Piers. Appreciate the help. Would you mind translating the above?
I have some more pics of that mei below.
And then after that, another post with the second one. Both have mei, and I am VERY happy to report that both bisen are unscrewed and good. Finally guns that are not stuck. A heat gun and oil were a huge help. Heat gun most of all.







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Here's the second gun. Bit less rust, but missing pan cover and guard. Oneday I'll tackle making one of each.
Hopefully mei is legible.
Thanks in advance Piers and anyone else.






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Your second gun is from Kunitomo, Brian. Interesting for a couple of reasons. *Kunitomo Tōbei was a famous smith line. (See photo of 20 Tōbei smiths with a personal name beginning with Shigé…) 


As to 巻張 makibari it is how the steel barrel was fashioned. 
(to be cont.)

A metal band was wound around the barrel for extra strength. When the process was in its infancy it was wound only once, on half of the barrel from the chamber end for strengthening. That is what your Sakai gun proclaims, a ‘half winding’, Han-makibari 半巻張.


As this became standard, a double full-length helix or 二重巻張 Ni-jū makibari was the least that customers wanted. As written in your Kunitomo barrel, on a facet to the right of the Mei.


Later in Edo a third twisting was added for extra strength, in most cases described as 総巻張 Sō makibari, or overall/complete twisting/binding. (Although I know of one exceptional large gun that actually specifies 三巻張)


Gō-Shū Kunitomo Tōbei Shigé…+ X
Is he listed?





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Brian, I would need to devote some time to breaking that one. I see elements of 菜 (na) and 采 (sai) and/or 添 (soe/zoe/ten) in it. (?) Not every smith name is recovered, though. Few dates for Tōbei smiths are noted. The ballpark likelihood is first half 1800s.


In the meantime let’s hope that one of our resident Kanji experts swings by!!! :)

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This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

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