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Iron Tsuba Id?


Lazarus
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While I continue to clean up and mildly preserve the sword I presented in the traditionally-made ninhnto section, can anyone help me identify this Tsuba that came with my in laws sword? It too was stored away in garages for over 70 years, having come home with my wife's grandfather from the Tokyo area where he was stationed just after World War 2 (Navy  shore detachment). For those who did not see the other "Help Needed with In Laws' Sword thread", the sword came with only the blade, the Tsuba, and two spacers (seppa). The other fittings were not present and the whole thing was held together with a piece of large, twisted, copper wire. In  any case, can anyone help identify the Tsuba. It is 3.5 inches in diameter.

 

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Steve,

there is no close-up so there is not much to see in detail.

How thick is the material at the SEPPA-DAI, how thick at the rim?

The design looks like TOSHO. It may be from the beginning of EDO JIDAI, but it is difficult to judge because of the corrosion..

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Steve,

 

there is no close-up so there is not much to see in detail.

 

How thick is the material at the SEPPA-DAI, how thick at the rim?

 

The design looks like TOSHO. It may be from the beginning of EDO JIDAI, but it is difficult to judge because of the corrosion..

 

Thanks! The thickness varies from about 3mm at the top of the Nakago-ana to the rim, to 2mm around the lower half of the Tsuba. The area around the Seppa Dai appears a uniform 2mm, but increases to three approaching the top 1/3 of the rim. Agree the corrosion is an issue. Here are a few more pictures with (hopefully) more detail.

 

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post-3387-0-44554600-1445220498_thumb.jpg

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Looks like a crude attempt to re-create (fake) a ko-tosho tsuba with hari ishime. A very bad, rusty tsuba. In order to find something of interest on eBay you have to have at least some basic knowledge, Steve. Seeing and handling good old tsuba will allow you to develop an eye for the real thing. Don't waste your time on eBay, go to shows, talk to people and see some tsuba. If you are interested in tsuba, that is.

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Looks like a crude attempt to re-create (fake) a ko-tosho tsuba with hari ishime. A very bad, rusty tsuba. In order to find something of interest on eBay you have to have at least some basic knowledge, Steve. Seeing and handling good old tsuba will allow you to develop an eye for the real thing. Don't waste your time on eBay, go to shows, talk to people and see some tsuba. If you are interested in tsuba, that is.

This Tusuba is at least 70 years old as it came from a somewhat rusty ninhonto brought back from Japan by my wife's grandfather in 1945 at the end of the Pacific War. I do not believe it to be a fake.

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Fakes were done earlier than that. I don't know if this even deserves to be called a fake.

 

IMHO it is a crude piece of iron which pretends to be a tosho tsuba. Sorry to be so brutally honest, but this is a piece of rusty iron. Just look at the tomoe sukashi, and yhe hitsu ana. Clearly the work of an amateur, and an imcompetent one. The sooner you learn to tell such a thing from a real tsuba, the better for you.

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Fakes were done earlier than that. I don't know if this even deserves to be called a fake.

 

IMHO it is a crude piece of iron which pretends to be a tosho tsuba. Sorry to be so brutally honest, but this is a piece of rusty iron. Just look at the tomoe sukashi, and yhe hitsu ana. Clearly the work of an amateur, and an imcompetent one. The sooner you learn to tell such a thing from a real tsuba, the better for you.

I'm not a Tsuba collector. I'm a PhD student in military history and obtained the sword (and Tsuba) through my in laws. I was trying to identify the Tsuba and see if its timeframe was the same/different than that of the sword. I hope to get more information on both Tsuba and sword at a sword show in the spring. Thanks for your input.

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I'm not a Tsuba collector. I'm a PhD student in military history and obtained the sword (and Tsuba) through my in laws. I was trying to identify the Tsuba and see if its timeframe was the same/different than that of the sword. I hope to get more information on both Tsuba and sword at a sword show in the spring. 

Steve,

 

the value of a TSUBA or a blade does not depend on what your interest or your competences are. There are aesthetical and artistical qualities plus the state of preservation that make for the appeal to the connoisseur and/or collector. Age is of little importance if quality is not present.

 

We can only express a more or less educated opinion depending on the quality of the photos shown, but even then, it's not the final word unless you can see the item in hand or have a SHINSA panel look at it.

 

Your TSUBA has very probably nothing to do with the blade. In the SAMURAI era, the mountings were frequently exchanged following etiquette requirements, changes in taste, or even battle damage. After the SAMURAI era, often decorative parts of value were cheaply sold because many SAMURAI lost their income and needed money. So you will never know why your blade was combined with that TSUBA. 

 

But nevertheless it may be a good idea to show your sword to several experts to get a consistent opinion or even evaluation on the basis of the actual market situation.

 

All the best!   

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I have a tosho tsuba with a couple of the same shape piercings.  It was ex-R B Caldwell collection (Sotherby's march 1994, lot 14), see attached.  The piercings were described as carpenter's squares, but I don't know what the curved ones represent.  The tsuba is in good condition and the surface still shows fine crossed hatched file marks that the smith used to finish the tsuba.  I've often puzzled as to what the shapes represent.

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