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raynor

New "holy cow" tsuba

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Fairly large and heavy iron tsuba at about 8cm (slightly over 3inches) horizontal and vertical, mumei and unknown school to my fresh eyes, shakudo cows and likely gold, brass or so flowers and leaf inlays.

Does anyone have any idea or opinion on the school, ballpark age or other information of this? I know I like it, but always eager to hear other actually educated perspectives.

 

I take it the tsuba is older then the fairly recent meat eating practice in Japan, (since Meiji restoration or slightly prior I think) before European influences the cow was one of the most revered animals to the Japanese. 

 

Unfortunately these two first photos in bleak indoor light is the best I can do at the moment, until the pandemic passes this tsuba is out of the country and my reach.

 

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Omar

 

Do you think it may be missing something of the decoration on the ura side? The two small holes look like they may have held something in the tree branch.

Nice piece and in very nice condition.

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Nice tsuba.

Dale, for the missing inlay, it may be flowers, like the ones on the other side ?

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Those two holes caught my eyes to, overall the inlays seems to be in good condition besides those two holes, they appear placed more directly on the branch then the flowers, maybe two little metal birds escaped.

 

Would this piece be worth sending to Shinsa once the world goes back to normal? Shoami makes a lot of sense but since that is a big bucket it would be helpful if they could nail down things like age etc more direct.

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Hi Omar,

probably Aizu-Shōami, mid-late Edo period, and probably water buffalos rather then cows.

About sending your tsuba to shinsa, consider that it's unlikely that the result will tell you explicitely an age attribution.

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They do indeed look more like water buffaloes, I assumed cows since there are not many water buffalo in Japan.

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