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Help understanding an Edo(?) tsuba, a tsuka and a menuki.


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Wondering if anyone can translate this tsuba.  I can tell it maybe refers to a mountain but beyond that I am unsure.  Does anyone recognize the maker symbol, mei and school?  Was told it was Edo period.


This menuki is interesting to me but I don't know what it is other than a leaf?  Also I believe it is gold (plated?) but not 100% sure.  Do you think the "stem" parts are just there to slide under the leather ito to secure the menuki or also meant as part of the decoration on this one?  Also told the entire tsuka is Edo period.


The sword is signed Ashu Ju Michimasa from 1840.  Also told it could be one from the 1700's.






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The tsuba artist is Hashimoto Isshi (橋本一至), also known as Yūshūsha (夕秀舎), which is engraved on this tsuba. He died in 1896. A very accomplished tsuba artist. I don't know if he is trying to recreate a famous Chinese painting, or just trying to create the effect of a Chinese painting. 


Engraved are 秋江 (shūkō) and 帆彩? (hosai?), which I think allude to a Chinese painting, or a common theme in Chinese painting. 

Reverse side is...雪山利?兆 maybe representing another Chinese painting, artist, or theme. Next to that is 萬山 and some kind of seal.


Sorry, a lot of question marks. Anyway, the artist is a good one, assuming the signature is genuine. There are a lot of fakes out there. 



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Steve, thank you very much.  I really appreciate it.  I will dig into Hashimoto Isshi (橋本一至), also known as Yūshūsha (夕秀舎) and see what I can learn.   I'm excited by the possibility it could be from a well respected maker so hopefully I can find some good comparisons.  Will keep my hopes tempered due to the many fakes.

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George, thank you.  Thats the first bit of info I received on the menuki.  Will have to see if I can find out what family it represents.


As to the tsuba, my thoughts on that are that it obviously is done in a style of some old paintings and scenery.  So if done as a homage piece then it would look like this and resemble the original work/style.  The Kanji and even the little seal are all quality work so I haven't let the scenery/Chinese painting style rule it out for me completely yet.  Might be a fools errand but my data is insufficient for a complete write off yet.   My eye tells me as well that this is a much simpler design than the others I've seen (which isn't many especially from someone with a long career), but the form and edges match some of his work so there's little bits keeping me going.


Plus half the fun of getting a new sword is going down the roads it presents.  Like an Easter egg hunt.

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