Japanese Sword Handle Ornaments (menuki) of Millet
They are antique Japanese sword handle ornaments (menuki) dating from the late Edo Period and are the work of a branch of the famous Goto School located in capital Edo. They are made of the Japanese gold-copper alloy (shakudō) with very fine gold (kin) inlaid highlights. The design is that of ripe millet and worn leaves with touch of morning dew invoking a sense of an early Autumn harvest. Millet was a stable food in Japan and the major way to measure wealth of a feudal lord's domain.
The handle ornaments are signed. One ornament measures 4.0 cm (1.6 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. The wooden storage box in the fourth photograph is included in the sale.