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Unique Tsuba


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Why is everyone interested in what's in my 'watchlist'!  Oh well I  can 'wave' good bye to that one! Stephen I can see a pattern forming here! :laughing:

Kimono no, Haori yes? [from the time line, I saw it listed half an hour earlier than you - I have email witnesses  :laughing::laughing::laughing:]


Brian I don't think customs would allow that one into Australia, is it something that you could get sent to South Africa?  Chris is right it would do more damage to the owner. Probably a prison sentence here! [and to think we used to make our own throwing stars as kids watching 'Shintaro'  1962 + repeats, It was a huge success here, did anyone else see it as a kid?]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Samurai_(TV_series)

Edited by Spartancrest
being silly
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Ashmolean says three layers for the seppa dai.

I assume the three layers are riveted together.

The tsubako who made this one made the rivets flush on one side, that's supporting my hunch that they did the same to rivet the seppa dai plates.

I can't imagine filing out a groove around a solid block seppa dai that you could then slide all the plates into, then rivet them all together, and somehow end up with a nice tight fit all around.


I've been thinking about how I'm going to make one of these for a while now. :)





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I zoomed in on the one that Stephen posted and you can "clearly" (with digital zoom and giant red arrows lol) see a rivet at the top and bottom of the seppa dai, as well as the separation line between the outer plate and the thicker solid core of the seppa dai.

Mystery solved :thumbsup:



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Just to offer an alternate view... with absolutely no judgement on you personally Bob,

I'd say that Myochin "armor-tsuba" doesn't need any papers at all.


Even IF it turns out to have been made at a later date by someone else, it still required the exact same amount of work and skill to produce as one that was made earlier.

That particular one was very well made... as good as they get (from my experience).


Personally, I think the mei on this type of tsuba is almost irrelevant, because these were essentially "salesman samples" made by armorsmiths.

Now for some pure hypotheses:

I'm going to make the assumption that many of these armorsmiths would have been "local" and already "known" by whoever acquired one of these tsuba from them... hence no mei required.

I would think you'd only have to put a mei on one, if you had some competing armorsmiths in the area, or you wanted to make a "salespitch" in a new area. Brand identity and all...


From a collecting standpoint, a mei on one of these "armor-tsuba" would simply be a little "bonus" to pinpoint who made it, and maybe place an approximate date to it, otherwise I think the more important thing to look at is the craftsmanship, regardless of who made it.


Just some food for thought...

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That one is carved out into a solid plate to look like a whole kabuto helmet. Very cool tsuba.

In zooming in, I just noticed that along the seppadai, the tsubako put a series of circular indents, as if there were actual flush-mounted rivets holding it all together!

That's some pretty amazing attention to detail, considering that if it was mounted on a sword (which it looks like it never has), then you'd never even see those little details. Only the owner and the maker would ever know... unless it ends up in a museum and posted online lol


Anyway, Piers, your post prompted me to look through my images and I found a similar one, but not as detailed as the one you posted.

Love the "grab-ring" that was put on this one.

I'm not too familiar with kabuto design variations, but does anyone know if that could represent some sort of ring to "hang" your helmet from, or some place to attach something to the helmet?


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GRC, another great find! The ring is called the “Agé-maki no Kan” and is found on the upper back of many kabuto. You could hang a small tassel or identification banner from it. 

(An example on the back of a jingasa.)

PS The black dots in the background of the Stibbert example above are dust/rust particles on the cloth inside their showcase.



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