Asiatic Art Valuations

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Japanese Sword

Do you own any Japanese sword? Are you curious to know what they are worth? Our Experts can provide a free appraisal to give you an estimate of the market price, then help you to ensure the best possible price should you decide to sell.

Ancient origins of the Japanese sword

The Japanese sword of the samurai warriors, a strong symbol of power, martial spirit, honour, can also be called katana. It is categorised under the broader name of nihonto, which has been used since ancient times to describe all swords manufactured using specific Japanese techniques.

The Japanese sword may also be found under the name of shinken, if its manufacturing process, as well as its craftsmanship, is from the modern and contemporary period.

The first weapons appeared in the 3rd century BC, and the development of the Japanese sword over time was the result of a desire to perfect their weaponry.

The Japanese sword has been divided into different categories throughout history: the Jokoto, the Koto renowned for their aesthetics and refined craftsmanship, as well as the Uchigatana and the Shintos.

Features of the sword

The handling of the Japanese sword, katana, requires two hands, but some techniques require a single hand for carrying and handling.

In its standard version, the katana weighs between 800 and 1300 grams.

In keeping with tradition, the katana blade is forged from raw steel transformed by craftsmen into composite steel, being laminated at several levels.

The hardness and robustness of the weapon comes from the way it is tempered. It is then polished. To do so, the craftsman used volcanic stones with a specific grain, which also made it possible to sharpen the blade.

The katana stands out as a strong symbol of the feudal class that ruled Japan for several centuries, the samurai. It could be worn as a belt and could be adjusted according to the posture of the wearer, and could also be worn if the wearer was on horseback.

Depending on the case and in order to protect themselves from its sharp blade, the wearer would point the blade with its sharp side upwards. Other pieces more specifically dedicated to riders exist in a range of swords.

Sought-after pieces of art

Japanese swords are an important part of Japanese culture. Very special attention is given to the design of the blade according to its curvature, and also its handle which can be woven with silk, and its varnished sheath, reflect the true codes of the art.

The katana is essentially a ceremonial item and can therefore be distinguished as a work of art in its own right. There are ancient katanas on the market which have sometimes been signed.

How do we appraise your sword?

Requesting an online valuation of your asiatic art is simple and entirely free of charge. You just need to complete our appraisal form with a brief description and some photos. This information will be sent directly to one of our antiquarian sword experts who will provide you with a price range and sales advice.

expertise process

A team of experts and auctioneers

If you own a Japanese sword, use our online form for a free appraisal.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent opinion of the market price. Should you wish to sell your sword, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available for selling at the best price.

Get an online appraisal >