Antique Japanese long tanegashima matchlock rifle with silver inlay of a water dragon in the clouds. Bronze hardware decorations including a fu-dog and chrysanthemum blossoms. A silver moku-ka mon in two places is that of the Oda clan, a daimyo family which was a strong political force in unifying Japan during the mid 16th century.
Guns were first introduced to Japan during the Sengoku era through the Portuguese in 1543. From just a couple samples, Japanese metal smiths were able to copy and expand upon the matchlock rifle, changing warfare in Japan forever. Used primarily by the samurai class and their ashigaru (foot soldiers), Japanese guns had a wide range of sizes and uses. During the Edo Period, the rise of the Tokugawa shogunate and the closing off of Japan to outside influences (other than limited Dutch trade) led to relative large scale peace and prosperity. This did not dissuade the production of firearms and matchlock guns and rifles continued to be produced and collected especially by the ruling class.
Age: Edo Period (1603-1867)
Dimensions: 52 1/4″ long