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svarsh

Kamakura-Bori Tsuba Under A Question Mark

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I had this tsuba for quite a few months, I found similar in books, and I was sure it was a kamakura-bori piece of late Muromachi period, ca. 1400-1550.

post-2381-0-00920500-1533715942_thumb.jpg   post-2381-0-94969300-1533715990_thumb.jpg

 

It was even papered. post-2381-0-13674500-1533716024_thumb.jpg

 

Recently, I acquired a look alike tsuba, also attributed to kamakura-bori style by the seller, a knowledgeable person.

post-2381-0-02597900-1533716119_thumb.jpg   post-2381-0-69447600-1533716143_thumb.jpg

 

 

The second tsuba, however, was signed Kunihide, whoever he was, and had clear mokume treatment of the surface.

post-2381-0-05552300-1533717175_thumb.jpg

 

 

Now, there are two similar pieces in books: 

 

1) Dr. Walter A. Compton Collection, 1992, Christie’s auction, Part II, pp. 14-15, №16: “A kamakurabori type tsubaMuromachi period, circa 1400. The thin, six-lobed iron plate is carved on each side with a wide groove that follows the shape of the rim, and with six scroll lines and a single thin circular groove. […] The hitsu-ana was added at a later date, circa 1500-1550.  Height 8.3 cm, width 8.6 cm, thickness 2.5 mm. The tsuba was initially intended  to be mounted on a tachi of the battle type in use from Nambokucho to early Muromachi period (1333-1400)”. 

post-2381-0-98311100-1533716930_thumb.jpeg

 

2) Robert E. Haynes Catalog #9 on page 24-25 under №23: “Typical later Kamakura-bori style work. This type of plate and carving show the uniform work produced by several schools in the Muromachi period. Some had brass inlay and others were just carved as this one is. The hitsu are later. Ca. 1550. Ht. 8.8 cm, Th. 3.25 mm”.

post-2381-0-11317500-1533717041_thumb.jpeg

 

A question I would like to address to community is: How come a kamakura-bori tsuba got a signature and mokume surface treatment?

 

 

 

 

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Hi Sergei,

 

I think you've answered your own question. I'm guessing maybe a later revivalist piece or utsushi mono: it looks like the hitsu ana were put in at the time of manufacture as the carving seems to stop before the edge of the ana rather than the hitsu ana cutting through the carving. 

 

Some interesting information here: http://varshavskycollection.com/kamakura-bori-tsuba/

 

Best,

John

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That's what I found at Nihon Tō Kōza, Volume VI / Japanese Sword / Kodōgu Part 1, page 231: Enju Kunihide, a tōshō from Higo: "...forging of the jigane is excellent, and there are also pieces with mokume hada." Cannot find this Kunihide anywhere. When did he live?

 

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I Have just purchased this kamakura tsuba. Even if it is mentioned in books that some had brass inlay , I was wandering if in mine, those inlays were original or a later addition in Edo times.

 

Your views, please.

tsuba323-1.jpeg

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I have one of these (kamakura style) somewhere (my collection is still in upheaval from our move).  The design is very pleasing.

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Dear All.

 

In this instance I think we need to be clear about the difference between a Kamakura period tsuba and a Kamakura bori technique.  We have all seen the largely pictorial tsuba with sukashi that are clearly Kamakura bori tsuba, i.e., made using the Kamakura bori technique.  Where this becomes less clear cut is tsuba such as the examples in the original post.  Here is a design which in one of the examples illustrated is early and in the other late.  (The attribution by Christie's for the Compton collection example is very early and I can't suggest why they made it.)

 

The example illustrated  that Mikolaj posted as a pre Kamakura tsuba, or a fore runner of Kamakura, is dated as early Muromachi.  This is a really early date for these tsuba and may only refer to this single example.  Most suggest a period from late Muromachi onwards.

See here: http://www.shibuiswords.com/ELkamakura.html

 

So, the tsuba under discussion were made from, at the earliest the Early Muromachi until at least Shinshinto times.  The clues for the age of an  individual tsuba must come form the plate and other indications not just the design. In the original post the second example was sold as Kamakura style.  Which of course it is, albeit made in the last two hundred years.  The mei and the treatment of the plate indicate a late date.

 

OK, I'll put the hobby horse back in the stable now............

 

All the best.

 

 

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You are always the voice of reason Geraint and I, for one, appreciate it.  I completely agree with your comments.  As it turns out, this thread is more confusing since the tsuba is arguably Kamakura Bori, and there are examples that were made very early (although I'm not sure that they go back as far as the Kamakura Jidai).  Here is a link showing the attribution of such a tsuba to Kamakura (in this case, referring to the style, not the age).  Cheers, Bob

 

 

http://www.shibuiswords.com/ELkamakura.html

 

 

 

 

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👾   Don't drop the Bori.

Kamakura-bori.

 

As in the style of wood carving.

It doesn't mean a d@mn thing in relation to the dating of this school of tsuba.

It is just a style.

 

You can have Kamakura-bori from the 1400s thru the 1800s.

Don't take too much meaning from it.

 

Nice Kunihide and a very nice katchushi with the subtle gold dot.

 

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I agree with Curran, it is a style, there are very modern versions. These are four of mine [before they were cleaned of rust] They have the same lobed layout with the 'draw handle' motif [stylized Chinese influence clouds?] with some 'extra' carving by way of a flower centre. [the number of petals varies with the lobes] I don't claim they are Kamakura or Kamakura-bori just that the designs are very similar.

my flower karakusa four.jpg

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