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Nanban Tachi Tsuba

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#1 Soshin

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:32 PM

A per my comment on the other post.  I picked this tsuba from a Japanese dealer.  It came in a nice custom box and unpapered.  The dealer was thinking it dated from the Azuchi-Momoyama Period to the early Edo Period.  The way I came up with to describing it as a Nanban tachi tsuba.  I have only just began starting to study it in preparation for me to do some better photographs (these were taken with my iPhone) and discuss it on the homepage of my Tsuba Otaku website (www.tsubaotaku.com).  The base metal is I think brass (shinchu 真鍮) a common alloy seen in other works of different schools and groups in Hizen Province during the Edo Period.  There have also been the use of black and to a less extent red lacquer on the surface of the tsuba.  The design is of twin dragons and a apple.  It measures 7.7 cm long by 6.9 cm wide.  As always feel free to discuss politely.  Thank you.               

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#2 vajo

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:39 PM

David i don't think it is a Hizen Namban. But i really want to hear what the others say.



#3 Soshin

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:53 PM

David i don't think it is a Hizen Namban. But i really want to hear what the others say.

Hello Chris S.,

 

I didn't mean my tsuba was Hizen just that brass like this was used in many of there tsuba from that area.  Right now I am not really sure other then that tsuba was mounted and used on a sword worn edge down.   


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#4 Jussi Ekholm

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:17 PM

I am not a fittings guy but it immidiately brought Chinese Dao sword guards to my mind. I'd think it might be Chinese instead of Japanese.

 

See few links for reference of Chinese guards. You can see 3 out of these 4 have the same theme with twin dragons.

 

https://www.ashokaar...igns-9-5184.jpg

http://www.mandarinm...ing-saber19.jpg

http://www.mandarinm...cer-saber15.jpg

http://www.mandarinm...rned-saber9.jpg


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Jussi Ekholm


#5 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:39 PM

David,

 

Definitely NOT Japanese work, looks more Thai, Indian, Indonesian to me, Chinese possible.  The workmanship has a "looseness" to it that is seen more frequently from these locals.  Namban is a broad term that covers things from many sources, many which are in some instances still open to conjecture until we have concret evidence, IMHO.

 

Cheers,

    -S-


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#6 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:08 AM

Jussi got me thinking so I did a bit of digging.  The type of swords he linked, are 19th century curios with untempered blades, they are purely decorative very liberal versions of functional 17th/18th century swords. They were made in China with facsimiles also made in Indochina and Thailand....so copy, and copy of copy, etc.

 

-S-


StevenK


#7 vajo

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:34 AM

I was first thinking asien exports from Siam but it is very rough made in design. There is a facbook site with some good informations but i didnt have find it back.

#8 Soshin

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:35 AM

I noticed some very important differences to the links that Jussi linked outside of the similar design elements. One sword he linked to shows that the hand guard was continues to the handle. I have seen this on Chinese Dao. I think my tsuba was made in imitation to a Chinese hand guard or was made in China during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period before closing down of Japan during the Edo Period. Thanks everyone for their comments.

David Stiles

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Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/


#9 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:19 AM

David,

 

I don't  see that any of the swords pictured have a guard that is contiguous with its hilt/haft.  Respectfully, how can 19th century design/execution be present on an Azuchi-Momoyama period production....a couple of Jussi's examples are more than similar.

 

:)

-S-


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StevenK


#10 Soshin

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:35 AM

David,

 

I don't  see that any of the swords pictured have a guard that is contiguous with its hilt/haft.  Respectfully, how can 19th century design/execution be present on an Azuchi-Momoyama period production....a couple of Jussi's examples are more than similar.

 

:)

-S-

 

Hi Steve K.,

 

My hand guard is differrent in terms of the rim shape.  This is the Chinese sword I am talking about: http://www.mandarinm...ing-saber19.jpg.  While not all of them are likely that some are.  None of the Chinese  hand guards have black or red lacquer applied to them.    I also notice stylistic elements different in the twin dragons.  The dragons on my tsuba are all picutured with only three claws a Japanese artisitc consideration then it comes to pictureing dragons in art.  Looking at the Chinese offers saber the dragon claws are visable and are all five in number: (http://www.mandarinm...cer-saber15.jpg).  I agree with the dealer (Ginza Choshuya in Tokyo) assessment of age as my tsuba isn't the stereotyped Nanban tsuba you see made during the Edo Period.           


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Website: https://www.raindragonfinearts.com/

Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/


#11 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:55 AM

David,

 

The rim shape varies slightly, a couple are very much like yours.  And, for your future reference some Chinese dragons DO have three claws, and four, and two, as well as five.  An open mind is a sharp mind.

 

Cheers,

    -S-


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StevenK


#12 Soshin

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 03:07 AM

David,

The rim shape varies slightly, a couple are very much like yours. And, for your future reference some Chinese dragons DO have three claws, and four, and two, as well as five. An open mind is a sharp mind.

Cheers,
-S-

No Steve you are mistaken and confused but thanks anyway for the discussion. Chill out and have a good weekend. Time for the Baltimore Antique Arms Show tomorrow. If I am lucky I will run into ‘Asian Export don’t say Nanban’ himself at the show.

David Stiles

Owner and Founder of Rain Dragon Fine Art and Antiques

Website: https://www.raindragonfinearts.com/

Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/


#13 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 03:16 AM

Do some research, you will find I am not mistaken.  Denial is a treacherous river!

 

Enjoy the show,

          -S-


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StevenK


#14 Brian

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 09:45 AM

To me, this looks like a Chinese guard...but an older one. Then brought back/traded to Japan, where it was altered to fit a Japanese sword. See the alteration to the seppa dai.
I don't know when, but would be as interesting as a Japanese guard.


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#15 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:45 PM

Screenshot_20190316-111029_Dolphin.jpg David, on the left is the "five" clawed Chinese sword guard (hushou) you sited for comparison to your "three" clawed version.....toe count looks identical to me.  Also, please note the heavy patina on the unpolished part of the rim of the supposed "five" toed version.

 

-S-


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StevenK


#16 Soshin

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 01:29 AM

attachicon.gifScreenshot_20190316-111029_Dolphin.jpgDavid, on the left is the "five" clawed Chinese sword guard (hushou) you sited for comparison to your "three" clawed version.....toe count looks identical to me.  Also, please note the heavy patina on the unpolished part of the rim of the supposed "five" toed version.

 

-S-

No Steve,  I can clearly see five toes on the Chinese hand guard but only three on my hand guard.  I starting to think my is Chinese anyways but made in Nagasaki right before or shortly after the fall of the Ming Dynasty so let it go man and chill out.  


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Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/


#17 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 01:57 AM

David,

 

You must tell me how you manage to see what you want to....no matter what is before you, It's an ability that could be useful!  I am quite "chilled out", thank you.  I respectfully suggest that, in the future, you choose your words with more care....as no matter the situation, I find it makes for smoother "sailing".

 

Cheers,

    -S-

p.s- spare the kindling and we can make an end of this....enough, I think!


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StevenK


#18 Soshin

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 02:59 PM

David,

 

You must tell me how you manage to see what you want to....no matter what is before you, It's an ability that could be useful!  I am quite "chilled out", thank you.  I respectfully suggest that, in the future, you choose your words with more care....as no matter the situation, I find it makes for smoother "sailing".

 

Cheers,

    -S-

p.s- spare the kindling and we can make an end of this....enough, I think!

 

After looking at I was mistaken in my counting.   I very much like this Chinese Dao handguard (circa late Ming Dynasty) repurposed as a nanban tachi tsuba and just finished doing some great looking photos DSLR.  It will be up on my website the first of April.         


David Stiles

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Website: https://www.raindragonfinearts.com/

Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/


#19 Marius

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 05:51 PM

https://www.facebook...oxoo6FBBBGfmYk0


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Best regards

Marius

"take tarts as tarts is passing"


#20 Peter Bleed

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 11:14 PM

I have nothing to add regarding claw counting, but this tsuba may be of interest to folks who have been following this thread.
Peter

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  • Nanban2.jpg
  • Nanban.jpg

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Peter Bleed

#21 Peter Bleed

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 11:46 PM

Here is another tsuba that brings to mind - at least to my mind - Chinese swords.IMHO this guard has a Chinese look and the kozuka-ana seems truly to have been added "thru" the plate so it may have been made outside of Japan. At the same time, the seppa-dai (or what served as the seppa-dai) looks very Japanese to me. I'm pretty sure that the first of the guards I have just posted began life in "China". I am less sure of that about guard.

Thank you for looking!

Peter

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  • Other Nanban1.jpg
  • Other Nanban 2.jpg

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#22 Soshin

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:13 PM

Thanks Peter and Marius,

 

I don't completely agree with everything discussed in the Facebook page that Marius linked to or even everything discussed in James L. McElhinney extensive number of articles written in the Japanese Sword Society of the United States (JSSUS) newsletter a heavy influencer of the Facebook page content.  Some of his points I think are valid but others just seems too much a logical leap without the necessary strong analytical evidence.  I was able to take some much better photos of the tsuba using a much better camera and lighting setup.  This photo shows the color and darkness of the lacquered brass in a much more realistic way. Notice the great difference between the two sides of the tsuba.  A characteristic I have seen in other early (pre-Edo to early Edo Period) Nanban style tsuba.  I am thinking the design on the reverse (ura) side was likely added later after the tsuba was imported into Japan sometime during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period to early Edo Period.  I also think this is the case for the seppa-dai as pointed out by Peter on one of this tsuba.  More nice photos of this tsuba will be up on Tsuba Otaku website's homepage (www.tsubaotaku.com) on April 1st.                   

Attached Thumbnails

  • Nanban Tachi Tsuba.jpg

David Stiles

Owner and Founder of Rain Dragon Fine Art and Antiques

Website: https://www.raindragonfinearts.com/

Website: http://www.tsubaotaku.com/






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