The auction house Christie's has announced its first online-only 'Samurai Sale.'
This collection of Samurai swords dates from around 1400 to the late 19th century, and includes the rare and important work by Tadahiro of Hizen province shown above: a ceremonial sword made in 1632.
Also included: suits of armor, helmets and tsuba (sword guards) that feature finely inlaid and carved designs depicting figures from legend, history, and popular culture.
Along with the online auction, there's a great interview with Victor Harris. He is former Keeper of the Department of Japanese Antiquities at the British Museum in London, and author of such books as Shinto: The Sacred Art of Ancient Japan, and Cutting Edge: Japanese Swords in the British Museum. Harris is also the translator of A Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto (c. 1584–1645), the master swordsman and legendary strategist.
And don't miss the related interview with Japanese film legend "Lone Wolf" Tatsuya Nakadai, who discusses sword fighting and how he learned to play some of the greatest Samurai roles of all time.