Japanese Sword Handle Ornaments (menuki) of Loin Dogs
They are antique Japanese sword handle ornaments (menuki) dating from the late Edo Period circa the late 18th to mid-19th century and are the work of the independent goldsmiths in Kyōto (Kyō-Kinkō). They are large and likely made to fit a Japanese long sword (katana). They are made of finely polished gold-copper alloy (shakudō). The design is that of a Loin Dogs (Shi-shi) a common guardian found outside of Buddhist Temples and is considered auspicious.
The handle ornaments are unsigned. One ornament measures 3.7 cm (1.4 inches) long and the other measures 3.8 cm (1.5 inches). The condition of the antique ornament is excellent. They date from the late Edo Period. They have been authenticated with a written appraisal deeming them to be of good quality and worthy of historical preservation by the Japanese Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword (Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai). The wooden storage box in the fourth photograph is included in the sale.
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