Knife

About this object

Narrative

Collected by missionary family in Japan. Suggested to be 17th century.

Cultural context

Samurai dress sword, of type used to commit harikiri.

Physical description

A tanto-like knife with an elaborately ornamented wooden sheath and handle. The knife handle has two inlaid abalone shell butterflies. The sheath has inlaid and raised floral and leaf designs of mother of pearl, ivory, and lacquer work. There is a small green seal.