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5 Tsuba's

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#1 Wigsplitter


    Chu Saku

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:58 AM



My name is Matt and I have aquired 5 Tsubas and was hoping for help identidying age and any maker info. I am just starting out in collecting Tsubas. I know a few of these are fairly rough, but still antique pieces. Thank you far any help you may have


#1 53.25mm x 45.32mm & 4,15mm thick


#2 70.56mm across & 4.18 thick


#3 67.78mm across & 3.57mm thick.


#4 55.58mm x 51.44 & 3.91mm thick (almost looks cast, not sure if its authentic)


#5 60.67mm across & 3.49mm thick















#2 Grey Doffin

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:52 AM

Hi Matt,

I also wonder about #4 but even if it is right it still is very low quality.  The rest are most likely mid to latest Edo generic tsuba except for 5 which was Heianjo zogan.  #1 has a bit of charm and the rest are ho hum with #5 being close to toast condition.

I think you'll get significantly more joy out of collecting tsuba if you set your sights a bit higher.  It could be that if you had taken what you spent for the 5 and put it into one you'd have a piece that pleases you more than the 5 do.  Try some study: online, good books, and in hand at shows or with other collectors, before you buy tsuba.  The more you educate yourself the happier you'll be with your purchases.

Meaning no offense; just my thoughts.


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#3 Wigsplitter


    Chu Saku

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:19 PM

Thank you Grey. I am yet to put any significant money down for a Tsuba, I paid $70 for #1 and $30 each for the others. I considered it a good chance to get familiar with different Tsuba styles. I have some books on the way, The ones I currently have only talk about Tsuba's in a very general sense. I needed some that are specifically focused on Tsuba's.




#4 rkg


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Posted 21 February 2017 - 08:51 PM



I'm not sure who made the first one - there's a number of edo groups that made pieces like that (and I don't study them so much...).

The second and third if they're old could possibly be put in the katchushi and tosho bins respectively, though I think they're too thick, etc to be pre-edo.  And actually #2 might be assigned to some other nebulous group designation (higo?)

I don't know about #4 either - could be one or more of cast, burned, low quality, etc.  if real I'd probably call it some kind of owari piece from the edo period (because of the style/decoration - they loved those birds...).

And I think Grey's right on the last one - some kind of heianjo zogan, though honestly, its a rusty wreck.


FWIW, at this stage, you'd be well advised to go look at some good examples of tsuba in hand before buying any more.  Much as I would normally recommend books, for newbies there aren't lot of books to recommend (IMHO) as most are kind of aimed at people who already know what they are looking at -  there are no oblique views, etc to help you "get" the pieces.  I keep thinking it would be cool to do an e-book for the uninitiated so you could zoom waaay in on the images to see fine details, include VR image sets, microphotographs, etc to try and really show all aspects of a piece, kinda like I did for this piece:





But I digress...


That said, there actually are a lot of "cheep and cheerful" tsuba out there, though you kind of have know what makes a good piece first.




(Richard George)

#5 christianmalterre


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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:12 AM

excellent Tsuba here Rich!

my very honest congratulations! :clap: :) !


it does start..... :beer:



to Matt...as it is your´s post here...

i sorrowly have to second Grey´s and Rich(e)´s comment so far.

do buy books first!- do try to see old and good collections (- and collectors!) first- ....do study! ( in the books!)... ( before "wasting" your´s hard earned money!)



#6 MauroP


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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:29 AM

Hi Matt, your tsuba #1 is not so bad, after all. It possibly "fits the box" Aizu-Shōami (会津正阿弥) or just Shōami.


Good luck for the next buy!


Mauro Piantanida
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