19th Century Tanto

Hey all! Here's my second sword I have questions on. (Also, sorry Stan, I didn't read the message about uploading pictures till after I posted my first post.)

This one is a little tanto I picked up a couple years ago. It's got a kozuka with it and a tsuba, but it's missing a lot of the other fittings. The tsuba has gold inlay and the kabuto-gane has a clan mon painted in gold on it. I've managed to identify it as a clan named the Mokko...but I've been unable to discover anything else about the clan. I think it's dated between 1800 and 1820.

Sadly it's in pretty rough shape. The saya's broken down the spine about a third of the way and somebody took a wire brush to the patina on the blade. It also appears as though an additional hole was drilled through the back of the blade. I'm interested in learning more about it and if you all have any information please let me know.


This one appears to be MUCH MUCH better than the NCO in your other post!
"Mokko" is not a clan name, rather it refers to the 4-lobed shape of the design. The marking is called a KAMON, meaning "family crest". Don't bother trying to identify which family owned it - there are multiple family names associated with the same MON, typically.
How do you know it is 1800-1820?
Can you post a clear picture of the tang, even if it has no markings?
Also a picture of last 2-3 inches of the tip.
Hopefully you already know this, but do NOT attempt to "clean", "polish" or "fix" anything on this sword or its mountings!



Pete: That's disappointing about the Kamon (I've also been mispronouncing it).

I dated it based on my earlier expert, but the patina seems to be about right for a reasonably older sword.

And I don't dare attempt to restore a sword myself. I don't have the expertise and I would damage the value pretty quickly.

I've uploaded three pictures that you requested.


Your "source" probably said 1800 because he had Absolutely No Clue. It is very likely older. I'm not expert enough to guess how much older, especially based on just pictures. I base my opinion on two things: 1) The tang rust looks relatively dark, 2) Any blade from the 1800's is relatively rare, compared to (for example) the 1500's and 1600's. Note that blades from the 1500's are fairly common, but many of them are low quality.
It's always difficult to see important details in pictures, but in your picture of the tip I think I can see some HAMON that wraps around to the back edge of the tip.
I do NOT see anything that is a red-flag for "Chinese fake" (something that must always be considered these days).

I'm definitely not a tsuba expert, but it looks like it could be nice. You may want to try and take a much higher quality picture of it. If your camera won't do that, try placing it directly on the glass of a scanner, and scan it at 300-400 DPI. The goal is to make the tiny details clear, and to show the colors accurately.