Iron Handguard (Tsuba) with Gold Inlays
This is handguard (tsuba) made of forged iron with a wonderful patina and dark luster. It was made to fit a Japanese long sword (katana). The single accessory hole has been plugged with polished copper-gold alloy (shakudō) cap. The textured surface was made by light hammering of the forged iron surface. The design done in both low and high relief carving styles with the details nicely accented with gold inlays. The design is of a sea cliff and sailing ships on the front side. On the reverse side is drying fishing nets. This design itself was first made popular by the great handguard artist Kaneie from the Azuchi-Momoyama Period.
This handguard is the work of the Saga Kaneie School that was based in the castle town of Saga in Hizen Provience modern day Saga Prefecture. It was made during late Edo Period circa early to mid-19th century.
The handguard is unsigned by the artist who made it. It measures 7.4 cm (2.9 inches) wide by 7.7 cm (3.0 inches) high. It is 4.3 mm (0.2 inches) thick at the rim and is of near uniform thickness throughout. The condition is very good.
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Returns are accepted during a three-day inspection period starting upon acceptance of the item with a 10% restocking fee of the original purchase price. Items wanting to be returned after this three-day inspection period can be purchased back at a discounted price at the discretion of the management of Rain Dragon Art and Antiques, LLC.