Tsuba with wood grain decoration and plaited rim


  • Catalogue text

    Hamidashi type; seppadai (or irregular profile) in plain shibuichi; rest of field veneered (flush with seppadai) with dark mokume of shibuichi, copper and shakudō; rounded border (bent to allow for the kozuka hole) covered with a harlequin plait of wide strips of silver, sentoku and shakudō; kōgai-hole, in form of a double-gourd bottle with bent neck, lined with shibuichi (probably to conceal the raw edges of the veneer).

    An almost exact duplicate of this guard (with silver on the border, however) is in the collection of Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F.S.A., lent to the Victoria and Albert Museum. A Similar example (1.87" by 1.15", the sides incurved for both hitsu) was given by Sir Arthur Church to the V.A.M. in 1911; in this the veneers cover the seppadai and are visible at the tang-hole, while the plaiting is much finer and includes copper. Beyond these three, I know of no other examples of this peculiar but attractive type of guard.

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