Signed Hirado Ju Kunishige
Sheathed 13.5 cm
Knife 12.5 cm
Overall 69 grams
Knife 24 grams
19th or 20th century
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Eunjangdo literally means "silver knife". They were worn as utility knives and eating utensils and often contained a set of small silver chopsticks as well.
Silver tarnishes quickly when it touches arsenic sulfides, and so these are said to be able to detect arsenic poisoning. The use of silver was restricted to the upper classes in Joseon Korea.1
A rather nice example that is entirely made of silver, even the knife. Hilt and scabbard are often sheet silver over wood but here they are also entirely made of thick silver. Both are decorated with fine floral designs. There is a brass spring inside the scabbard to ensure a tight fit of the blade.
It comes with a set of chopsticks that neatly join together with a small mortise joint. One of them carries a flower near the rear.
A very fine example of a Korean silver knife, with all-silver construction, including the blade.
1. See Korea Joongang Daily.
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