A Yoshioka school tsuba featuring a design of scattered chrysanthemums (kikka chirashi). Mumei. Made of shakudo with gold iroe. Very nice nakago ground with fine carving for the chrysanthemums. Mid to late Edo period (late 18th or early 19th century).
This tsuba is thought to be the work of the Yoshioka Ibana no Suke school who worked for the Tokugawa Bakafu. Early generations of the Yoshioka school did not sign their work. Later generations signed Yoshioka Ibana no Suke, but did not identify individual artists. It is said that the Yoshioka did not sign fittings when made for the Tokugawa families. Robert Haynes confirmed that this is almost certainly the work of the Yoshioka school.
Chrysanthemums have long been admired in Japan for their beauty and elegance and they became a popular motif for clothes and furnishings. They have a nice scent, survive even if other flowers wither, and live long, so symbolise longevity, and often appears on sword fittings. In the 17th century, gardening became popular among ordinary people. They actively crossbred chrysanthemums and created improved varieties for ornamental purposes.
This beautiful tsuba shows a range of different chrysanthemums.
According to Robert Haynes there were three schools who produced work like this, however this example is most likely Yoshioka and dates to around 1750.
Length – 7.1 cm
Width – 6.8 cm
Thickness at seppa dai – 0.5 cm
Thickness at rim – 0.5 cm