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 Post subject: For Sale - Collection of old soft metal tsuba
 Post Posted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 152
Location: at San Francisco in California
Gentlemen -
this is from another board, many may have seen it. However the quality of these little pieces and the affordability are rarely available to us in an opportunity like this. I am copying this here for those who may not be in the know but who are looking for just such little gems.

Number three is mine now BTW!

OK, gents, I am reducing my old soft metal collection. All tsuba here are made of soft metal, either yamagane or shinchu or shakudo or katashirome or bronze. All are pre-Edo, some are as old as early Muromachi. The designations (ko-kinko, tachi kanahgushi and kagamishi) are for the sake of categorization only. No one really knows who has produced these tsuba. Fact is - they are utilitarian and old. No male jewelry but tsuba used by the common/middle rank samurai of the Sngoku period.

I will soon add another tsuba, maybe two, and also two Momoyama mirrors.

If you would like to look at better resolution pics of each tsuba here is the link to my gallery:

I will be adding descriptions and prices over the next two days, so please bear with me. Below are the first few descriptions:

1. Tachi Kanagushi Tsuba - $300
Octagonal tsuba of yamagane or suaka. The patina is wet, silky and smooth. Pleasing sukashi with large attractive hitsu-ana. The rare shape, clean sukashi and rich colour are all traits we expect from the transitionary period of the late 16th c.
Momoyama Period. 6.1 x 6.0 x 0.3cm

2. Bronze kokinko tsuba - $300
Sukashi chrysanthemum motif. The single hitsuana is original thus making this guard ubu (unaltered) condition. The plate is uniform thickness throughout, and no remnant lacquer is evident. Although most would call this metal yamagane, material testing on other tsuba of this genre shows these to have been made of bronze, and thus rarer for the period of manufacture - likely prestige goods. 6.6 x 6.4 x 0.25 cm. Early to mid Muromachi (ca. early 1400's)

3. Kokinko Tsuba - HOLD
Yamagane tsuba with umako and circle sukashi motif. Simple and thin in the web, this tsuba is a classic chisaigatana tsuba of the mid 16th century. There is a subtle flat spot on the inside edge of one of the umako sukashi, suggesting that it was once used with a saya implement - likely a kogai.
6.15 x 6.0 x 0.25 cm seppadai, 0.2 cm mimi
Late Muromachi period (mid 16th c.)

4. Kokinko yamagane uchigatana tsuba - $300
Simple, robust, heavy and thick. Very good, dark patina, evidence of folding in the rim. The shape of both hitsu ana indicates its great age. 6.5 x 6.4 x 0.5 cm. Middle Muromachi period (15th c.)

5. Kokinko Uchigatana tsuba - SOLD

6. Tachi Kanagushi Tsuba - $ 250
Yamagane tsuba with numerous tiny punch marks arranged in small clusters as well as swirled patterns on both sides of the plate. The swirled patterns are arranged in a band around the plate on both sides. Traces of black lacquer remain in many of the punch marks. The kozuka ana is original to the design. Thin light and elegant, this tsuba is a nice representation of common tachikanagushi work of the Muromachi. 6.35 x 6.0 x 0.3 cm Mid Muromachi period (15th c.)

7. Kagamishi tsuba - $400
This is a nice little kagamishi tsuba. Nice shape and proportion of the hitsu-ana; colour and patina are also very pleasant. Additional attraction - it retains its original black lacquer. Kagamishi are relatively rare, this one is priced very attractively. 6.50 x 6.20 x 0.25. Late Muromachi, ca. 1500 – 1550.

8. Brass Tachi Kanagushi Tsuba - $350
This is a very early brass tachi kanagushi tsuba - a rare piece. It is very likely that this brass is imported. It is darker, richer and more visually elegant than brass produced in Japan by the late Momoyama period. This is the type of brass used in contemporary Onin tsuba. Note that the sukashi is chiselled, not cut-out with a saw. The plate has been covered by black lacquer which remains in many areas. The hitsu-ana is likely original and of an early form - low and elongated. Mid Muromachi Period (late 15th c.) 6.1 x 5.9 x 0.25

9. Tachi Kanagushi Tsuba - $150
Small oval yamagane tsuba with yamagane fukurin. Its hard to tell with such simple pieces, but my feeling is that is quite early. The squarish nakago ana is odd for a tsuba of this size. A large blade was used with this piece, so not a tanto - possibly a koshigatana. Regardless, a very old original tsuba at a very attractive price. Mid Muromachi Period (15th c.) 5.2 x 4.6 x 0.45 cm at fukurin

10. Tachi Kanagushi Tsuba - $250
Yamagane tsuba with vast amounts of thin black lacquer all over the plate. Very attractive colour, reminds me of low shakudo. A thin silver fukurin finishes the outer edge. The tsuba is thickest in the middle, rounding gently to the thinner rim. Simple, clean and representative of a common samurai's tsuba of the late 16th century. 5.6 x 5.6 x 0.35 cm seppadai, 0.15 cm mimi. Late Muromachi to Momoyama period

11. Tachi kanagushi tsuba - SOLD

12. ko-kinko brass tsuba - SOLD

14. Yamagane tsuba - $100
A simple, yet old yamagane tsuba with good patina and remaining black lacquer. Nice shape of the hitsu ana. 5.5 x 5.0 x 0.25 cm. Late Muromachi - 16th c.

15. Iron tsuba - ko sukashi with gorintou motif and Amida yasuri - $350
This little tsuba has an excellent patina. The iron is very well forged and feels dense and hard. Evidence of folding in the sukashi walls. This tsuba reminds me of Owari work in terms of its iron, but it has no tekkotsu whatsoever. Possibly some katchushi school? The sukashi motif is very dynamic - this tsuba is far from the rigidity of Edo designs. Momoyama, late 16th c. 6.2 x 5.5 x 0.25 cm

You will find detailed pics of #14 and 15 among all other tsuba in my sales gallery:

Thomas C Helm
Contributing Editor NCJSC

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