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Sukashi Tsuba

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Echizen Kinai

71 x 71mm

Signed ‘Echizen ju Kinai saku’ (越前住記内作) with ura mei (on the reverse). The signature and workmanship is indicative of Nanadai Takahashi (7th Gen.) the last generation of the Kinai tsubako. Nanadai Takahashi is known to have produced smaller tsuba and also had a unique mei. The ‘nai’ (内) of Kinai is written as ‘iri’ (入), and his  ‘saku’ (作) is referred to as ‘umbrella saku’ because is carved with an extra stroke, giving the apperance of an umbrella (人). He was born in 1818 and was known as ‘Meijin Kinai’ (名人記内) meaning ‘master’ or ‘expert’, based on the quality of his work. Abundant ‘tekkotsu’ forging lines around the rim show this tsuba was well forged.



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Ko-Shoami/ Kyo-Shoami 
Myoga Kamon

76 x 75mm


The attribution is based on the the koban (oval) seppa-dai, the coarse jigane, and the tekkotsu in the form of lamination lines and protruding knots of iron, both of which are characteristic of well made Ko-Shomai and Kyo-Shoami tsuba. The theme itself is ‘myoga’ (茗荷), or Japanese ginger. This theme was favoured by the samurai because another reading of the word ‘myoga’ is ‘divine protection’ (冥加), and was used as a crest by various clans.



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80 x 76 

A rounded rim encircling a diamond with silver nunome-zogan bordering the inner diamond to represent thunder in abstract form. The smooth, almost muji hada is reminiscent of the Kamiyoshi school, though it may also be classified as late generation Higo. Nevertheless, the theme is simple but elegant, as is characteristic of  various Higo schools.  



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Geese in flight



A classic Owari design with rounded rim and a theme of geese in flight, stylised in the shape of a diamond.  The theme could be interpreted as a symmetrical represention of the flight pattern of Geese, which fly in a 'V' shape. As expected, there are tekkotsu around the rim, and the nakago ana shows significant tagane, which is often seen on early iron tsuba. The rim, however, is not perfectly round, as there is a a slight bend in the tsuba which could be straightened out. 



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Ko-Shomai/ Kyo-Shoami 
Sun rays and myoga

76 x 75mm


As per Ko-Shoami/ Kyo-Shoami above. A strong theme of a six spoke wheel (intentional wood grain on the spokes) with stylised myoga encircling the kozuka and kogai ana. The theme most likely represents the Dharma wheel, which has six spokes to represent each of the six realms of existence. 



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