(鍔ギャラリー⑦) Tsuba Gallery #7

Katchūshi tsuba (甲冑師鐔)

 

Japanese Title:  片輪車文透鐔 (katawa-kuruma no mon sukashi tsuba)
Material:  Iron (tetsu 鉄)     
Age:  Early Edo Period (江戸時代初期)  
Size:  8.1 cm X 8.1 cm, 2.7 mm at rim, 2.0 mm at center
Signature:  mumei (無銘)   
Shape:  Maru-gata (丸形)        
Surface Finish:  Tsuchime-ji (槌目地)          
Attachment:  None

This is a sword handguard (tsuba 鐔) made of forged iron (tetsu 鉄). The simple but bold design in positive openwork (ji-sukashi 地透) is that of a half wagon wheel. No accessory holes are present in this large tsuba. The entire surface of the tsuba is nicely finished with fine hammer work (tsuchimei-ji 槌目地). The rounded rim (maru-mimi 丸耳) display both fine and somewhat elongated iron bones (tekkotsu 鉄骨). I think this tsuba dates from around the early Edo Period circa 1615 – 1670 CE but could be much older. I sent photographs to Robert Haynes to examine and he thinks that its likely dates from the middle Muromachi Period. More research is need and possible submission to formal appraisal in Japan.               

     

Provenance:  Livio Cillo Collection

Higo Sukashi Tsuba (肥後透鐔)

 

Japanese Title:  左右洲浜透鐔 (sayū suhana sukashi tsuba)

Material: Iron (tetsu 鉄)

Age: Edo Period (江戸時代) 

Size: 7.6 cm X 7.6 cm, 3.0 mm at rim

Signature: Mumei (無銘)

Shape: Maru gata  (丸形)

Surface Finish: Migaki-ji (磨地)

Attachment: None

This is a sword guard (tsuba 鐔) made some time during the Edo Period (江戸時代) (1615-1868).  It is made of extremely well forged iron (tetsu 鉄). The openwork (sukashi 透) design of the tsuba is simple and very abstract. It displays an elegant and refined symmetry characteristic of many sukashi tsuba done in this style from Higo Province. I have seen an unsigned tsuba with a very similar openwork design attributed to the second-generation of the Hirata (平田) School. The design is referred to as left-right sandbar (sayū suhana sukashi 左右洲浜透). Very fine vertical file marks as a surface texture (ji-mon 地紋) is present on the surface of the tsuba.  The patina is wonderful, and the silky-smooth iron feels good in hand.

 

Provenance: Steve Waszak Collection

Umetada Tsuba (埋忠鐔)

Japanese Title: 天地銀杏透鐔 (tenchiichō sukashi tsuba)

Material: Iron (tetsu 鉄)

Age: Middle Edo Period (江戸時代中期)

Size: 7.2 cm X 8.0 cm, 3.0 mm at rim

Signature: mumei (無銘)

Shape: Kawari gata (変り形)

Surface Finish: Migaki-ji (磨地)

Attachment: NBTHK Hozon Paper ID# 4013528

This is a sword handguard (tsuba 鐔) made of forged iron (tetsu 鉄).  The surface of the plate has a wonderful feel with a deep rich patina (sabi 寂).  The surface adds a great tactile feel to the iron of the tsuba in hand.  The positive openwork (sukashi 地透) design of the tsuba is of twin Ginkgo (ichō 銀杏) tree leaves arranged on the top and bottom.  The texture of the iron and the deep color of the patina gives me the impression of impermanence of dead leaves.  The Ginkgo leaves look like they have fallen from a tree during the coolness of a mornings frost of the Autumn season.
On May 7, 2018 it was judge and attributed formal appraisal (shinsa 審査) in Tokyo at the Japan at the Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword (NBTHK) to be a work of a mid-generation of the Umetada (埋忠) School based in the old cultural capital of Kyōto (京都) in Yamashiro Province (山城國).  An appraisal paper (hozon tōsōgu kanteisho 保存刀装具鑑定書) was issued confirming the tsuba is authentic, of good quality, has artistic merit, and is worthy of historical preservation. 
 

Provenance: Skip Holbrook Collection