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(鍔ギャラリー⑫) Tsuba Gallery #12

Tetsunin Kaneie Tsuba (鉄仁金家鐔) 

Japanese Title: ??

Material: Iron (tetsu 鉄)

Age: Late Edo Period (江戸時代後期)

Size: 5.4 cm X 6.4 cm, 3 mm at rim.

Signature: Kaneie Yamashiro Kuni Fushimi Jū (金家山城國伏見住)

Shape: Mokkō-gata (木瓜形)

Surface Finish: Tsuchime-ji (槌目地)

Attachment: None

This is a small handguard (tsuba 鐔) for a dagger (tantō 短刀). It is made of forged iron (tetsu 鉄). The main design is of cranes along a riverbank with tall mountains in the background. It is done in high relief (takabori 高彫) using an overlay of iron that is then carved away (sukidashibori 鋤出彫). The design of the riverbank is counited on the reverse side of the tsuba accented with gold and silver inlays on both the front and back. The style of raised rim with worked off edges (sukinokoshi-mimi 鋤残耳) was popular during the latter part of the Edo Period. The surface of the tsuba has a nicely applied hammered texture (tsuchime-ji 槌目地).

Yoshimasa (良昌) was the first generation of the Tetsunin Kaneie (鉄仁金家) School who move to Saga of Hizen Province from the capital Edo. The school first originated in Fushimi near Momoyama Castle near the old cultural capital of Kyōto (京都) but had no direct connection to the famous Meijin Shodai Kaneie (名人初代金家) who worked a generation earlier at that location. Later generations of the Tetsujin Kaneie School would work in a Kaneie style during the middle to late Edo Period often using no signature, some variation of the basic Tetsunin (鉄仁) signature, or a false signature (gimei 偽銘) of the famous Meijin Shodai Kaneie. This tsuba is signed [Kaneie Yamashiro Kuni Fushimi Jū (金家山城國伏見住)].

Provenance:  Charlie Foos Collection

Kōdai Jingo Tsuba (後代甚吾鐔) 

Japanese Title: 雁図鐔 (kari no zu tsuba)

Material: Iron (Tetsu 鉄) 

Age: Late Edo Period (江戸時代後期)

Size:  7.0 cm X 7.6 cm, 2.0 mm at rim, 4.0 mm at seppa-dai.

Signature: Tagane-mei (鏨銘)

Shape: Nagamaru-gata (長丸形)

Surface Finish: Tsuchime-ji (槌目地) 

Attachment: None

This handguard (tsuba 鐔) is made of forged iron (tetsu 鉄). It was likely mounted and use on a long sword (katana 刀). The design is of wild geese flying over a glove of bamboo with mountains in the background. The design is of wild geese (kari 雁) flying is continued on the reverse side of the tsuba, but a stream is included near the bamboo.
The whole decorative design is done using two different carving techniques. The method mostly used for the wild geese and bamboo leaves is a dug away style carving technique (sukidashibori 鋤出彫). The mountain on the from and the stream on backside is carved using line carving technique (kebori 毛彫). The wild geese and bamboo on both sides is highlighted boldly with sliver fabric style inlays (gin nunome-zōgan 銀布目象厳).
The special style of raised rim is wheel in shape (kan-mimi 環耳) and this specific shape is characteristic of the Jingo (甚吾) School. The circular chiseling around the ends of the central tang opening (nakago hitsu-ana 中心櫃穴) are characteristic of the 5th generation Shimizu (志水) Shigenaga (茂永). This type of deliberate chiseling is a signature done by chiseling (tagane-mei 鏨銘). Works by the 5th generation master and his many students are considered the later generation (kōdai 後代) of the Jingo School.   


Provenance: Charlie Foos Collection 

Jakushi Tsuba (若芝鐔)

Japanese Title:: 龍の図鐔 (ryū no zu tsuba)

Material: Iron (tetsu 鉄)

Age: End of the Edo Period (江戸時代末期)

Size: 6.7 cm X 7.4 cm, 3.0 mm at rim.

Signature: Omote: Kiyō-sanjin Jakushi (崎陽山人 若芝)
                   Ura: Ryū unken Koretaka + kaō (龍雲軒 是高「花押」)   

Shape: Maru-gata (丸形)

Surface Finish: Yakite-kusarakashi (焼手腐らかし)    

Attachment: None


A forged iron (tetsu 鉄) handguard (鐔). It was likely made for use on a long sword (katana 刀). The design is that of a dragon among fire and clouds of smoke. The dragon’s eyes, clouds of smoke, and flames of fire is colored (iroe 色絵) vividly with gold fabric inlays (kin nunome-zōgan 金布目象嵌) that contrast nicely with dark patina of the heat treated corroded (kusarakashi 腐らかし) surface. Interesting enough the dragon that is pictured on the tsuba is female as indicated by the shape of end of the tail. The plate of the tsuba has a uniform thickness from the middle (seppa-dai 切羽台) towards the rim (mimi 耳). The rim is a rounded square (kaku-mimi koinku 角耳小肉) in shape.

The front of the tsuba is signed by the artist: Kiyō-sanjin Jakushi (崎陽山人 若芝). On the reverse side design continues. It is signed by a second artist: Ryū unken Koretaka + kaō (龍雲軒 是高「花押」). Based upon demographic information I can find in the reference The Index of Japanese Sword Fittings and Associated Artists by Robert E. Haynes the two artists are recorded. The first artist who signed the front (omote 表) is Haynes Index entry number H11981.0. He is recorded as being an artist of Jakushi School who made tsuba and kozuka in the city of Nagasaki (長崎) located in Province of Hizen (肥前國). The recorded date of this death is 1857 CE. The artist signing the reverse (ura 裏) is Haynes Index entry number H03485.0. This artist has a dated piece 1851 CE, and his recorded date of death is September 12, 1878, CE. With this information I can estimate this tsuba being made sometime in the early 1850s before death of the first artist in 1857 CE. The first artist signing the front of the tsuba was likely the teacher and the artist signing the reverse was likely the student.


Provenance: Joe Rigano Collection           

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