IRON TANTO TSUBA WITH NTHK KANTEISHO TO AWA SHOAMI SCHOOL
This beautiful late Edo period (1603 to 1868) Tsuba is a stunning work of art! Skillfully over-layed in nunome of dual toned gold, silver, & shakudo it boasts a scene depicting two roosters preparing to do battle as a hen looks on amid a background of swirling gold clouds. The reverse is decorated with a detailed silver hen watching over three tiny chicks, one in gold and two in shakudo, that posture, prance, & peck midst the same foliated gold swirls depicted on the other side. The iron plate is a deep chocolate hue contrasting well against the multi-toned overlay.
The 1/8" (3 mm) nunome (gold) edge is finely executed with minor (very) pecks due to age and one ( 1 mm) area of missing overlay. The attention to detail is exquisite! To think this work was all done by hand speaks of the talent, pride, and dedication with which the artist crafted this fine sword guard! An NTHK Kanteisho paper is included attesting to its genuine character and school of manufacture. The four man shinsa team describe the tsuba as "mumei (unsigned), of elongated circular shape with a single hitsuana (hole for kozuka), having an iron field with gold inlay of the 'Chickens in the clouds' motif executed by the prominent Awa Shoami School. The seals of all four shinsa members follow the description and photo image and is dated Heisei 23 year, 6 October or October 6th, 2011.
The tanto size Tsuba measures approximately 2 1/16" (5.3 cm)w x 2 3/16" (6 cm)h x 3/16" (4 mm) in thickness with the nakago-ana (hole for tang) measuring 1/4" (6 mm)w x 15/16" (2.4 cm)h. The Tsuba comes complete with the Kanteisho and kiri wood box with padded interior. A wonderful piece for display as it is or as part of the Koshirae for a nice Tanto.