The Tsuba Collector

A private collection of antique Japanese Sword Guards

Gallery

Akasaka Tsuba

Iron sukashi tsuba with design of go-san no kiri, or paulownia leaves, while the rim has a design of paulownia blossoms. Beautiful silky surface with nice sukashi work. Mumei. Edo period. Lovely tsuba. Comes with custom box.

7.2cm x 6.8cm x 0.55cm

Exhibited at the Token Society of Great Britain Taikan, Chiddingstone Castle, Kent, UK, October 2015

Akasaka

Kyo-Sukashi Tsuba (papered)

Iron sukashi tsuba of circular form, finely carved and pierced with shippō tsunagi design (repeated overlapping circles). Mumei, but attributed to Kyo Sukashi school. The motif represents the ‘endless circle of the seven treasures’ in Buddhist mythology.  The pattern is popular on textiles and is considered to be a symbol of good fortune. The shape of the hitsu-ana are telltale signs of Kyo-Sukashi school.  NBTHK Hozon paper.
Edo period

7.7cm x 7.6cm x 0.4cm

Mito Tsuba

Iron tsuba featuring the legendary Chinese hero Guan Yu (Kan’u Uncho) seated at a low table. The design has been created by the artist carving away a large amount of iron to form the building, windows, curtains, clouds, table, etc. Guan Yu’s long beard is done in shakudo and his hat and clothes are gold iroe. The ‘Green Dragon’ naginata/polearm is edged in silver. The rim is covered in gold. Mumei. Edo period. The Mito attribution was provided by Robert Haynes. A stunning tsuba. Comes with custom box.

7.4cm x 7.2cm x 0.45cm

Exhibited at the Token Society of Great Britain Taikan, Chiddingstone Castle, Kent, UK, October 2015

Mito

Yoshioka Tsuba

Shakudo tsuba featuring design of scattered chrysanthemums (kikka chirashi) carved in gold. Thought to be the work of the Yoshioka school, who worked for the Tokugawa Bakafu. Mumei. Early generations of the Yoshioka school did not sign their work. Later generations signed Yoshioka Ibana no Suke, but did not identify individual artists. This tsuba dated to the mid-Edo period (c. 1750).

Chrysanthemums have long been admired in Japan for their beauty and elegance and they became a popular design motif for clothes and furnishings. They have a nice scent, survive even if other flowers wither, and live long, so symbolise longevity, and often appear on sword fittings. In the 17th century, gardening became popular amongst the ordinary people. They actively cross-bred chrysanthemums and created improved varieties for ornamental purposes. I purchased this beautiful tsuba from Ginza Choshuya in 2012. As you can see it shows a range of different chrysanthemums. Attribution from Ginza Choshuya and backed up by Robert Haynes. A stunning tsuba. Comes with custom box.

7.1cm x 6.8cm x 0.4cm

Exhibited at the Token Society of Great Britain Taikan, Chiddingstone Castle, Kent, UK, October 2015

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