Object Title

Percussion pistol and saya (scabbard)

Percussion  pistol and saya (scabbard)



Object Number



Found during the mounting of the Oriental Armoury, 1975. Card index indicates this was purchased from Nihon To-Ken, Museum Street, London in 1970.

Physical Description

The gun is disguised to look like a tanto. The scabbard is lacquered black, smooth nearest the mouth and textured below. There is no kurikata only a koiguchi and kojiri of copper shaped with horizontal grooves. Near the tip is an eyelet through which is fitted a loop of blue dyed hemp cord.
The hilt is of copper lacquered brown and decorated with flecks of lighter lacquerto look like wood. It is fitted with a fuchi and kashira of grooved copper like the scabbard mounts and a copper tsuba with a four lobed textured rim. from the kashira there protrudes a large iron loop-handle and just below it a faded red silk cord with a tasselled end. On the ura face of the hilt is a copper menuki in the form of a mon of two crossed hawk's feathers in a circle. On the omote the menuki is lost, but was evidently the firing button, a screw head being all that remains.
Pulling the iron ring cocks the mechanism and pressing the screw head where the menuki should be releases it. The barrel is of brass in four sections separated by mouldings. Next to the tsuba is an octagonal copper habaki, then two sections separated by hexagonal mouldings then two others separated by simple turned mouldings. The muzzle is octagonal and of larger diameter than the barrel.


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Compare Christies 15 June 1993 lot 620 (£2,000).