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Japanese Police Officer’s Jitte (Truncheon), Late Edo
During the late Edo and early Meiji periods the carrying of blades in public was against Japanese law, even for samurai and police. For this reason police used a truncheon called a jitte or jutte to keep the peace. It was a baton used for striking, but if things got out of hand, the handle could be unscrewed, revealing a short thrusting blade. This example is of fine quality, with an 8 ˝" steel baton inlaid with silver scrolls. There is a solid brass guard, or tsuba, with brass and copper rosettes on either side. The heavy handle is covered in rayskin, with engraved brass collars top and bottom, a knurled brass pommel with carrying loop, and central copper band. The handle unscrews to reveal a 4" diamond-section blade. Overall length is 13 3/4" and it has substantial weight at nearly 1 ˝ pounds. Very good untouched condition with pleasing patina to the metal. Genuine examples are rather scarce.
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