Quintessential Gassan, a Spectacular 26 3/4 inch Katana

Gassan Sadakatsu

Gassan Sadakatsu is regarded by most collectors as one of the finest if not THE finest sword maker of the twentieth century. He is the son of the more famous Sadakazu but it is widely believed that many of his fathers finest pieces made late in his life were actually daimei by Sadakatsu. That is to say they were actually made by Sadakatsu who signed his fathers name to them since as his fathers assistant he could not sign his own name until his fathers death in 1918 at the ripe old age of 84.

Sadakatsu was the sword maker to the Imperial house hold and made many masterpiece blades for the Emperor, his family, dignitaries and high ranking Officers of the Imperial military forces. Two of Sadakatsu's students including his son went on to become the first sword makers to earn the title of Living National Treasure.

I am thrilled to be able to showcase two wonderful blades by this master. The first is quintessential Gassan, a spectacular 26 3/4 inch katana made in perfect ayasugi hada in fresh polish by master polisher Takeo Seki. Even though the Gassan's were known for their ayasugi hada (a secret tradition of even undulating forging pattern to the steel), works in ayasugi, particularly long swords, are rare. Sadakatsu was also known as a master of the Bizen and Soshu tradition of sword making and most of his works are in those styles. This sword is signed and dated 1940 and has an inscription stating that it is made from special iron sand from the Kabushiki Kaisha coporation. It also has the unusual and distinctive mitsumune and original solid silver habaki. Just frikkin beautiful!!