Superb quality Meiji period Japanese paper knife made of mixed metals, including brass, copper and silver, the depth of carving to the handle is wonderful and beautifully depicts its subjects, it has been skillfully made. The carving on the handle shows a Phoenix and chrysanthemums, both sides are the same, the Japanese meaning for the mythology of this bird is that it never dies, it flies high always scanning what is below near and far, it represents our capacity for vision and for interpreting the events unfolding around us. The chrysanthemum flowers are known as solar flowers and the Japanese Imperial Family adopted the chrysanthemum as their emblem, the Emperor's position is referred to the Chrysanthemum Throne. The flower is associated with longevity and joy, there is a National Chrysanthemum Day in Japan which is call the Festival of Happiness.
The blade is brass with hand carvings on both side, one side shows a swallow, vines and leaves and the other side has trailing vines and blossom. Mixed metal items such as shakudo and shibuichi came into vogue after the end of the Samurai era when sword and armour makers turned their exceptional skills into the making of household items which exhibit extraordinary detail and beauty. This letter opener dates back to c. 1890 and is in excellent condition as can be seen in the photographs, a wonderful item to display on your desk, it efficiently opens envelopes and cuts paper. The length is 11 2/3" and the width 1 3/8".
Item ID: MC.35
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