Sardine Scalpel Reliquary

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Product Description for Sardine Scalpel Reliquary

Maker: Tom Sterling (click to see more by this maker)
Item num: 93313
*** This is handmade and one-of-a-kind ***
Blade length: 1.00 in.
Total length: 3.25 in.
Blade height (at heel): 0.30 in.
Blade thickness (near bolster): 0.04 in.
Item weight: 0.80 oz.
Shipment weight: 6.0 oz.
Blade: Hand forged 1075 carbon steel
Handle: Hand engraved shibuichi scales with moose antler and horn eye inlaid eyes
Description: This is a truly fantastic and whimsical piece from Washington artist Tom Sterling. The 'scalpel' itself was forged to shape from 1075 carbon steel. Shibuichi scales were meticulously carved and engraved to resemble a sardine. Shibuichi means "one-fourth" in Japanese and indicates the standard formulation of one part silver to four parts copper. Until the Meiji reforms (late 19th century), when swordsmiths began to make purely decorative objects instead of swords, shibuichi was used to ornament various fittings for katana. The eyes of the sardine are double inlaid with moose antler and horn, for a remarkably life-like appearance.
The sardine is held by a copper stand, which in turn is set on a sculpted sardine tin. The base of the tin is formed from presentation grade bocote wood. The stand will store the scalpel and its stand when not on display. The top of the stand is carved and sculpted to resemble an sardine tin. The top of the tin is formed from sterling silver and set on stainless steel. It is peeled back to reveal four detailed sardines. Like the 'scalpel' handle, these sardines were meticulously carved and engraved and have eyes double inlaid with moose antler and buffalo horn.
Absolutely wonderful!

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