(小道具ギャラリー②) Kodōgu Gallery #3

Tsuneshige Fuchi (常重縁)

 

Japanese Title: 大黒天図縁 (daikokuten no zu fuchi)

Material: Brass (shinchu 真鍮)

Age: Late Edo Period (江戸時代後期)

Size:  3.9 cm long, 1.0 cm wide

Signature: Tsuneshige (常重)   

Surface Finish:  Migaki-ji (磨地) 

Attachment:  None

 

This a lone soft metal (kinkō 金工) handle collar (fuchi 縁) by the Nara School artist Tsuneshige (常重). He was active in capital Edo during late Edo Period circa 1775-1800 CE. While not directly pictured the design motifs on the fuchi imply the god of agriculture, Daikokuten (大黒天), whose name literally means 'Great Black Deva'. He is also considered one of Japan's seven lucky gods. This type of nonliteral symbolic representation is common in all types of Japanese art when it comes to representing deities or other legendary beings. The design itself nicely done in both low relief carvings and high relief inlays of both gold (kin 金) and the copper-gold alloy (shakudō 赤銅). The base metal of fuchi is brass (shinchu 真鍮). The collar like many fuchi is a separate piece made of refined copper (suaka 素銅).

 

Provenance:  Charles Foos Collection

Ko-Mino Menuki (古美濃目貫)

Japanese Title: 南瓜図目貫 (kabocha no zu menuki) 

Material: Red Copper (Shakudō 赤銅)

Age: Muromachi Period (室町時代)

Size: 4.5 cm

Signature: mumei (無銘)      

Surface Finish: Migaki-ji (磨地)

Attachment:  None

These are early handle ornaments (menuki 目貫) of a Japanese sword. They are made of the copper-gold alloy (shakudō 赤銅). Theme of this exquisitely detail menuki is of vines, blossoms, and fruits of the winter squash (kabocha 南瓜).

The overall thin construction of the menuki is clearly observable on backside of these menuki. The carved openwork (sukashi-bori 透彫) design shows great deal of undercutting and open space. This is characteristic of early menuki produced by the Mino Kinko (美濃金工) school during the Muromachi Period (early to mid-16th Century). All exceedingly early menuki like these are unsigned hence the specific artist is unknown therefore an attribution of Ko-Mino (古美濃) is specific as possible and most appropriate given the circumstances.   

 

Provenance: Unknown