Warring States Period Sword Handguard (Tsuba)
This is a small handguard (tsuba) likely mounted and used on an early short one-handed sword (uchigatana) used by low ranking foot soldiers (ashigaryu) and conscripted peasants (ji-samurai) during Japan’s Warring States Period circa mid-15th to late 16th Century.
The handguard is made of unrefined copper which as a very dark patina from age. There are round flat pinpoint inlays on the front and back side of the guard that are made of lead. A precious metal used for decorative inlays and inserts in Japan. Some of the inlays are missing but this is to expected give the extensive age of handguard and the likelihood that it saw actual combat early in its life. This is also made clear by the number of nicks on the backside of the handguard which would have been the side facing the blade of the sword. A thinly carved floral pattern and texture was applied to both surfaces of the guard that is accented with the lead inlays.
The handguard measures 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) wide by 6.7 cm (2.6 inches) high. The rim of the handguard is 0.4 cm (0.2 inches) thick. The handguard was unsigned by the artist who made it but the punch mark pattern on the front of the guard was likely made the artist when he was mounted the handguard on a sword to be used. Wooden storage box with pillow is not included in the sale.
The handguard has been formally appraised in Japan by The Japanese Sword Museum (https://www.touken.or.jp/english/) on 05/01/2016 and a written appraisal issued ID# 4009718. Based upon the appraisal the handguard is very old, authentic, good quality, and worth of historical preservation.
Return and Refund Policy
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.