Tsuba with cherry tree and clouds

Details

  • Catalogue text

    In low relief on each face part of a cherry-tree with some gold flowers and buds, also three clouds abutting on the edge; the latter are almost flat and the polished surfaces are enriched with togidashi designs of faggots, flights of birds and patches of powdering; the general ground rough ishime; slender raised border. Signed: Nagaaki [Japanese text] with kakihan [Figure]. (Unrecorded.)

    E. Gilbertson Collection? A very similar guard, signed by Kobayashi Yasuke Masakiyo of Matsuye in Idzumo (unrecorded), is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Hawkshaw Collection, no. 2653). It is, however, considerably larger than the Church example and of coarser finish, both as to the modelling and as to the togidashi, while the shakudō has not the same fine violet sheen. Apart from the signatures the two guards are obviouslu by different hands. Similar work appears on the rim of No.158 and includes the motives here employed, from which it would seem that the faggots are really sections of brushwood fencing. This rim is possibly by yet a third hand.

    The work is an imitation of the togidashi process in lacquer-work, where a design is, so to say, first inlaid in the general ground, the whole being then polished (togi) so as to show up (dashi) the design, as though it were submerged in water. Here, apparently the shakudō has been lightly engraved with the design, then heavily gilt all over, and finally rubbed down so as to leave the gilding only in the engraving, with the appearnace of ordinary flush inlay (hirazōgan).

Glossary of terms

shakudō

tsuba

Reference URL

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