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Mountings for Matched Set of Long and Short Swords: Scabbards Lacquered Using Byakudan– and Isokusa-nuri Techniques

Mountings for Matched Set of Long and Short Swords: Scabbards Lacquered Using Byakudan– and Isokusa-nuri Techniques
Total lengths: long sword 99.6 cm, short sword 73.8 cm; Edo period, 18th to 19th century; Gift of the Ii Family

These scabbards are lacquered using the techniques of isokusa-nuri (creating a pattern of irregular wrinkles on the base lacquer surface) and byakudan-nuri (applying a transparent lacquer over gold foil plating). The isokusa pattern in this example adds intricate circular patterns to the wavy wrinkles, creating the impression of flowers in bloom. Various materials are used, including ivory for the sword head, silver for the fuchi hilt collar, and shakudō copper for the sword guard (tsuba).

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