It was a custom during the Edo era to give gifts of especially beautiful sword same to high ranking officials, especially Daimyo. These pieces of same (ray skin) were selected because of they possessed especially large nodules indicating a very mature and treasured fish.
The same was married with intricate embroidery and beautiful fabric that were used to mount it to a piece of wood. The example shown here is an exceptional piece that dates to the middle to late Edo era. One can see when examining the back that it shows great age and yet it is also evident that it was cared for over the years as the condition of the same, and embroidery is excellent.
It is quite large measuring 21.875 inches or 53.8 cm in length and 3.5 inches or 9.0 cm in width. It comes in its old wooden gift box that is lined with white and blue paper. This is another indication that it was given to a person of Daimyo status.
This is a very unusual and seldom seen item that does not appear on the open market very often.