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  • tsuba This post has image ( China & Japan ) - Glen - Apr 15, 2018 (05:46 PM)
    • Re: tsuba - Henry Wilson - Apr 16, 2018 (10:41 PM)
      • Re: tsuba - Glen - Apr 17, 2018 (06:09 PM)
        • Re: tsuba - Henry Wilson - Apr 18, 2018 (03:10 AM)
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Posted By: Glen Sun, Apr 15, 2018 IP: 2600:1700:e090:79a0:


I would appreciate any information that anyone might be able to share about this tsuba. It comes from a private collection that entered a Massachusetts museum in 1928 and was deaccessioned last year.

The inserts are bamboo. One side of each is iridescent, more copper colored than gold, and seems to have been lacquered, though the surface has now crackled. The dimensions are 8 x 7.5 cms. The nakago-ana is 1 cm at its widest. There is a raised rim that is a bit taller in the parts near the four corners of the raised diamond. There are no markings.

I have assumed that it is late 18th to mid-19th century. Does that seem right? Were bamboo inserts like these in the cut outs common? I haven't been able to find any similar examples. Could they have been added when the tsuba was new or are they more likely to have been added later?



Subject:Re: tsuba
Posted By: Henry Wilson Mon, Apr 16, 2018

The design is of two gourds. What makes you think that they are bamboo? Usually they are a soft metal. It is hard to date the tsuba from the pcitures but it could be late Edo period. The Meiji period saw a ban of swords so the market for practical tsuba collapsed. Meji Taisho work is usually a lot more gorgoeus as they are typically made as art, not as functional tsuba.

Subject:Re: tsuba
Posted By: Glen Tue, Apr 17, 2018

Thanks Henry. In person its easy to tell that the inserts are bamboo. They've shrunk slightly and have partly returned to their convex form. One side of each is the original bamboo surface. They're clearly old, though maybe not as old as the tsuba. I haven't seen anything similar.

Subject:Re: tsuba
Posted By: Henry Wilson Wed, Apr 18, 2018

You are welcome Glen. Bamboo inserts are quite unusal. You could check out the Nihonto Message Board for more information. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |