These were used by old law enforcement official in the old days like a badge would be today, as a show of authority. Very beautifully made. These expertly crafted and antiqued replicas. The artisan lives in Gunma prefecture and has retired at 87 years old this year. Because his work is so good, some people have actually sold his replicas as true antiques on the internet! When we heard he was retiring, we drove out there right away and negotiated purchasing as much of his remaining inventory as possible. When this inventory is gone, so is our ability to purchase more. Our supply is very limited. Prices are may seem high due to our high purchase prices. But if you are looking for great replicas to display and teach your students with, I think you will be very happy with these beautifully hand made works of art.