Jump to content

A series of fittings ( or how not to build a collection )

Bob M.

Recommended Posts

138:   "Akasaka" Nobuyie.   Don't even need to hit the books to recognize that one. Distinct style.  See Kinko Meikan for these /other/ Nobuiye.


140:  Very collectible. What Dirk_O said. 

These show up now and then and always sell quickly. I've never owned one.  I remember one of the books has an illustrated version of this tsuba.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 143  Iron Tsuba with gold - 7.93 cm x 7.15 cm x 0.46 cm


Subject of bamboo by Patrick Hastings about 10 years ago


Simple , restrained treatment of a popular subject.



Item No. 144  Iron Sukashi Tsuba - 8.42 cm x 8.22 cm x 0.46 cm


Subject of Irises with water droplets by Kevin Adams about 8 years ago


Utsushi of a famous image - nice piercing and carving skills.





  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 145   Iron Tsuba with brass inlays   8.24 cm x 8.15 cm x 0.50 cm


Sukashi tsuba with feathers , leaves and tendrils . Heianjo style work , estimate age at 2-300 years


In good order with no losses that I can see , gaps in design on rear appear intentional.



Item No. 146   Iron Tsuba with Gold  7.60 cmx 7.10 cm x 0.36 cm


Subject of Ryujin's messengers with Takenouchi no Sukekane ? Signed Mogarishi Soten.


Very good quality inlay work with hardly any losses - is this another version of the same incident featured on Item No. 111 ? There are two messengers  on this piece and no sign of the  ' tide jewels ' as shown previously.







  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 147   Iron Mokkogata tsuba with gold  8.46 cm x 7.69 cm x 0.46 cm


Tsuba forged with many hot stampings on a ' rock face ' ground with much gold ' cloud '. Mumei.


Another piece that is more than it appears at a glance . Arrived with information ' Gomoko Zogan ( Sen ) 18th cent. '  Can anyone help with this ?



Item No. 148 - Iron sukashi tsuba with silver  6.97 cm x 6.81 cm x 065 cm over rim  , 0.40 cm in centre


Iron  with silver fukurin - design of dragon ( I thought it might be of a fox at first ). Long , untranslated inscription on both sides . A nice tactile piece with the thinning towards the centre.


Unknown school or age . As usual , any assistance with this would be greatly appreciated.








  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re #147: it is early Kaga school

"A peculiar form of incrustation appears in early Kaga work combined with crests. It is called gomoku-zogan (literally, "dirt inlay"). It has been described as representing broken pine-needles or frost-work (shimofuri), and consists of scraps of brass wire and filings scattered over the iron field. On the examples belonging to this collection, it forms the sole decoration, appearing without the Kaga crests"


That's an excerpt from: Early Inlays from 'Jaspanese Sword Mounts' by Helen C. Gunsaulus.


I was just re-reading this section of the article the other day so it was fresh in my mind :) 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 149  Iron Tsuba   8.38 cm x 8.31 cm x 0.44 cm at centre , 0.30 cm at edge


Subject of ' Toshu monkey toys & yasurime '  18th cent. ?


Finely forged and patinated.


Any ideas of school or tradition ? I had wondered if Myochin is a possibility.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 150   Iron tsuba  8.2 cm x 7.7 cm x 0.36 cm


Subject of dragonfly with water and reeds on rear , carved in katakiri bori , signed Myochin motte kitao


A wonderful piece of carving.


The corrosion spots are well in excess of 100 years old - this piece formed part of the Red Cross exhibition of 1915 , and the image from the record of that exhibition shows the spots.


Provenence -


Ex. Colonel J B Gaskell collection

Exhibited Red Cross exhibiton 1915

Published - Japanese Art and Handicraft by Henri L. Joly, pp 112 , no. 48









  • Like 6
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 151   Iron Tsuba with shakudo , gold and silver   7.84 cm x 7.50 cm x 0.37 cm


Subject of fruits , leaves and tendrils . This tsuba has been forged into convex/concave shape ( forget the Japanese name for this style ) such that the overall height is 8.5 mm .  Mumei , with no real indication of age , but has quite an 'old feel ' to it - guess at 17th/18th cent.


A heavily structured piece of iron with prominent forging pattern.






  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 152  Iron Tsuba with gold   7.29 cm x 6.72 cm x 0.55 cm


Subject of dragon in cloud, signed Jakushi


A better quality tsuba from Jakushi wuth nicely carved and animated dragon . Two shades of gold used for clouds and flames , the design carries on around the rim. The carving of the dragon is good enough to make you think at first sight that it is a shakudo inlay , but it is all from the same plate.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dealt Bob


First of all. I find this thread really interesting and entertaining! Your collection is wonderfull. 

About your tsuba number 149, I have a very similar one ex Robert Haynes collection classified by him as Katchushi. The folded structure of the plate is clearly visible in the nakago-Ana, thus the attribution to Katchushi in spite of the lack of the raised mimi. 




Hope this help




  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


No. 149 looks more like an early EDO JIDAI TSUBA in TÔSHÔ revival style to me. Common design of KUKURI-ZARU. However, it is difficult in some cases to differentiate between TÔSHÔ and KACHUSHI TSUBA. Often, KACHUSHI have more and wider SUKASHI openings and can have a raised or DOTE MIMI. All in all, they appear a bit more elaborate, while (KO-)TOSHO tend to be simpler and more restraint.

No. 153 is probably called NADE-MOKKO shape. Not KACHUSHI and certainly not KO-KACHUSHI in my opinion.

No. 154 shows a common NAMAKO motive and does not look very old to me. Do you see TEKKOTSU on the MIMI?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jean ,


Thanks for your post-


All of the tsubas you mention are part of a large ( over 150 piece ) collection that I acquired a few months ago following the death of the owner.


I have not had time to sort all of these out and in fact do not have the knowledge to do this properly . 


At some point in the past , it looks as if the collection , or a large part of it was dropped , possibly down stairs , causing a number of boxes to be smashed , others damaged and a lot of the tsubas mixed up and put back into boxes at random. Unfortunately there is no documentation to show how the collection was formed and so I am forced to guess or try to get opinions as to maker / school etc .


I am hoping, that, by posting these in my thread together with other pieces  I am a bit more certain about , my errors will be corrected by those NMB members more knowledgeable , especially in the field of sukashi and old iron , than myself.


Less than one third of the collection has any attribution at all , ( by the box being labelled ) ; the rest are in plain boxes .


Re. Item No. 153   -  has a label on the box stating ' Ko Katchushi Ex Jim Gilbert ' . The tsuba in the box must therefore be one of the mixed up items. There are other tsubas in different boxes which would more closely resemble traditional Ko Katchushi work.


Re. Item No. 154 - there is no evidence of tekkotsu anywhere .


Many Thanks for your time and interest !



If anyone is able to assist me with the above ' jigsaw puzzle ' , either on the NMB posts , or off Board , please get in contact , any help much appreciated.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 155  Menuki   Shakudo with silver, gold and copper


Subject of rats on dried salmon , signed Haruaki


Very fine detailing , as you would expect from Haruaki School - it is even possible to see the Salmons' individual teeth !


An almost identical pair ( maybe the same ones ) were in the Hartman Collection and appear in the auction catalogue on page 122 , item 488 . I am not sure if these are the same menuki that were in his collection as I bought them from a dealer in Japan about nine years ago . That said , the Hartman collection was auctioned at the end of June 1976 and it is quite possible that they went back to Japan , only to come back to England ' on vacation '.




  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re . Item no. 155


Hi Glen ,


Well it is a possibility , but I imagine that a design like this would have proven quite popular - leading the school to take the commercial decision and produce a few batches of almost identical menuki . 


With the level of skill on show , I think that reproducing the design exactly would not be a problem.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 156   Kozuka in Shibuichi and Shakudo with gold and silver inlay


Subject of Tanabata ( Star Festival ) by Ikkin the 2nd  , mid 19th cent.


Front of the kozuka in striped shibuichi showing bamboo pole with paper decorations attached.

Ikkin studied under Hashimoto Isshi and Goto Ichijo , two ' giants ' of their craft . The signature is particularly well done , it was worth buying the piece for that alone .

Bought direct from a Japanese dealer some nine years ago.


NBTHK papered



  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Item No. 157    Copper Tsuba with Silver , Copper , Shakudo and Gold details  7.00 cm x 6.40 cm x 0.40 cm


Subject of Bushi entering a room with screens . Pine tree on reverse Hamano School ( Hamano - Masazui ? ) signed  Masaaki  with kao - Is this Furukawa Masaaki ? Mid 19th cent.


Delicately carved and realistically expressed - nice detailing on the screens , featuring Bamboo . Typical good hamano pine tree on reverse.


Bought off ebay from Japan nearly 16 years ago.




  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...