Medieval Samurai artifacts to be auctioned

Wealthy collectors are checking their pocket books at the announcement of the auction of several 13th century Samurai swords made by master maker Bizen Nagamitsu, estimated to sell between US $150,000 and $200,000. The swords, as well as other weapons and armor, will be auctioned October 8, 2013 by Bonhams in New York. (photo)

Two of the swords in the auction are a matched set of daishō, made from an exhausted supply of steel. "You simply cannot make steel of this quality anymore. The natural materials needed were completely exhausted by feudal Japanese swordsmiths. It's very rare to see an early Bizen Nagamitsu daishō like this one on the market," explained Jeff Olson, the Director of the Japanese Department at Bonhams New York.

Also for sale will be another early Bizen tachi, a horse blade, and 18 helmets including one "with a centipede inlaid design and matching centipede forecrest, a likely reference to the fact that, like a Samurai, centipedes can only move forward, not backward (est. $15,000-20,000)."