Nagasaki raden katana kake
Dimensions

46 cm wide

21.2 cm deep

42.5 cm high

Weight

1363 grams

Materials

Wood, urushi lacquer, mother-of-pearl

(Haliotis diversicolor, non-CITES)

Origin

Nagasaki, Japan

Dating

19th century

Provenance

From a British private collection

Price €7600, -

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Description

A very fine Japanese katana kake (刀掛) or "sword stand."

Made of wood, with two upright supports with wide feet to prevent toppling, connected by a center beam and supported by a large board. The whole is finished with black and gold urushi lacquer and then inlaid with mother-of-pearl in shades of white, blue and green.

This work is called Nagasaki raden where ra () means 'shell' and den () means ‘inlaid.’ This work is typically seen on pieces that are for the export market, yet here it is seen on a quintessentially Japanese piece of furniture.

The mother-of-pearl inlaid decoration shows aquatic scenes with villages near the water and boats. Each side is decorated with scrolling vines and peony roses in a rather Chinese style. The work may well have been done by Chinese craftsmen who were working in Nagasaki.

The stand can hold three swords, one at the top, one on the front, and one on the back. The front and back are offset, so you can see all three when all slots are used.

 

Nagasaki raden katana kake with daishoNagasaki raden katana kake with daisho

 

 

Condition

Some chipped areas, especially on the two feet. Some losses to the mother of pearl inlays at the base. These were filled with black urushi lacquer during an older restoration. Otherwise in pretty good condition, with virtually all the mother of pearl in the main scenes being intact. See photos.

Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden styleJapanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style

 

 

Conclusion

An impressive Japanese sword stand with fine mother-of-pearl inlaid decoration in the Nagasaki style. It is inlaid with thousands of pieces of mother-of-pearl, carefully selected for their luster. 

Photos sadly cannot capture the appeal of the sparkle in the light. This piece needs to be seen in real life.

 

Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style
Japanese sword stand katana kake in the Nagasaki raden style

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