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2014

2019

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Plowshare Blade (Japan), Before 1855

This is a Plowshare Blade.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of Natural History as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated Before 1855. Its medium is iron.

Tools handcrafted by specialized artisans are accorded particular respect in Japan, where echizen uchihamano, the forged blades made in Echizen Province during the Edo period (1603–1868), are designated as an official traditional craft of Japan. Communities of metal workers began to specialize in tools like this plowshare as early as the fourteenth century. Subsequent generations of artisans have continued this practice, using virtually identical tools and materials, and seated cross-legged on the floor in the middle of their small workshop. This plowshare is one of four similar cast iron tools acquired during Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s historic voyages to Japan in 1853–54, which led to the first-of-its-kind collection of Japanese artifacts at the then-new Smithsonian Institution.

It is credited Collected by Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853-54, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, E380.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 3.8 x 16.5 x 22.9 cm (1 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. x 9 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

This object may be subject to Copyright, loan conditions or other restrictions.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35520485/ |title=Plowshare Blade (Japan), Before 1855 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=12 December 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>