A rare mounted rayskin
Edo period (1615-1868), late 18th/early 19th century
51.5 cm long
Of waisted and convex form, having a wood core, covered by a single piece of rayskin, displaying varying grades of same visible through five variously shaped cut-outs ringed by raised gold thread in tightly bound gold and silk brocade of various formal designs.
A kazari-zame is a "presentation" same. Rayskin has always been a precious material and those with large nodules were sometimes not mounted on a sword hilt but given as a gift, elaborately tied with plaited cords on gold brocade.
Other two similar items are recorded, probably by the same maker: one is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York while another one was in the Dr. Walter A. Compton collection.
Kazarizame for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: alt-1344