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Sword travelling-case with grapevine design

1675/1725

British Museum

British Museum

Daimyō, provincial governors, and other high-ranking samurai carried swords mounted either as katana or tachi types. However, they were not able to wear these long swords when travelling in a palanquin (covered litter), when their swords accompanied them in cases carried by attendants.

This sword case is made of lacquered wood with gold makie and shell inlay with an all-over design of a grapevine. The outer leather case has the mon (family crest) of the owner in gold leaf.

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  • Title: Sword travelling-case with grapevine design
  • Date Created: 1675/1725
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 112.50cm (with lid)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: lacquered; maki-e; inlaid
  • Registration number: As1902,-.193.a-d
  • Production place: Made in Japan
  • Period/culture: Momoyama Period
  • Material: wood; lacquer; nacre; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Rosenheim, Max
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