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Asian arms in old European paintings logo

Asian arms in Dutch master paintings

Dutch masters' fascination with exotic Asian wares shown in a series of paintings.
Unusual alphabet tsuba logo

Early tsuba with alphabet

Curious early tsuba with the beginning of the Western alphabet inscribed into it.
Fine pierced nanban tsuba

Fine pierced nanban tsuba

Very delicate work with carved guardian lions.
Aoi gata tsuba with foreigners logo

Thick Aoi gata tsuba with foreigners

With fine golden overlays, even on the thick rim.
Asian export sword guard with foreigners logo

Aoi-gata tsuba with foreigners

Unusual tsuba with foreign figures and Chinese auspicious symbols.
Nanban ship tsuba logo

Iron nanban ship tsuba

Pierced and chiseled showing an 18th century European vessel.
Hirado Kunishige fuchi logo

Hirado Kunishige fuchi

One of his classic designs, signed by the maker.
asian-export-lobed-guard-with-western-portraits

Curious lobed sword guard

Modeled after a smallsword guard, with carvings of Western figures.
Sawasa smallsword pommel snuff bottle

Sawasa smallsword pommel

Upgraded with filigree to resemble a snuff bottle.
Sawasa ink container logo

Sawasa east indian inkwell

Sawasa is metalware in black and gold made primarily for the Dutch expat community in Asia.
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child

Chinese dish with lady mary and child

A rare early dish meant for a Christian market.
Dutch Colonial sirih box logo

Dutch Colonial sirih box

Complete with key, inside divider and four silver containers.
Nyamba hilt with seal logo

Nyamba keris hilt with seal

Rare old keris handle made into a European wax seal.
Canton export lacquered box

Chinese export lacquer box

A nice example with unusually fine lacquerwork and a monogram in the lid.
Signed nanban tsuba logo

Signed "nanban tsuba"

Among the work classified as "nanban", signed work is very rare. Here are some examples of signed works in the style.
Colonial revolving matchlock with Vietnamese decoration logo

Colonial revolving matchlock gun

With five chamber canister. The whole in silver gilt overlay with Vietnamese decorative elements.
South Sulawesi sword VOC marked blade

Sulawesi sword with VOC blade

A very good sword from South Sulawesi (Celebes) with silver mounts and a dated VOC blade.
Javanese tiger hilt sword

Tiger hilt sword with VOC blade

With Dutch VOC blade, marked with the Amsterdam monogram.
Preanger gobang sword with dated VOC blade logo

Preanger sword with VOC blade

Blade marked with VOC Amsterdam monogram, and the year 1769.
Sawasa style guard logo

Sawasa style iron guard

Unusual piece with depiction of a foreign figure.
Dragon gate guard logo

Unusual dragon gate guard

Asian sword guard of unknown origin, modified in Japan.
Canton tsuba

Japanese tsuba in Canton style

Also known as Kwanto-gata, with two facing dragon chasing a pearl.
Compass rose guard logo

Cast iron compass rose guard

A peculiar cast iron sword guard, probably from the South China Seas area.
Nanban kogai and kozuka called futakoromono

Nanban kogai & kozuka set (futakoromono)

The only set of its type known to me in both private and museum collections.
Sawasa logo

Sawasa

A term used for colonial Asian metalwork in black and gold.
Sawasa hunting hanger logo

A sawasa hunting hanger

Sawasa is a copper-gold alloy that was patinated a "raven black" and then highlights were parcel-gilt.
Indonesian Blunderbuss

An Indonesian blunderbuss

Of Chinese manufacture, traded widely and used gainst the Dutch during the Aceh Wars in 1873–1904.
Chinese pierced sword guard logo

Qing openwork saber guard

A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Qing om a hum mantra saber guard

Chinese hùshǒu with lantsa script

A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.
Christian wooden mother-of-pearl inlaid cross Nguyen dynasty Vietnam

A Vietnamese Christian cross

Constructed out of dense hardwood and with fine mother-of-pearl inlays in the Vietnamese fashion.
Dutch-Indonesian Beaumont based shotgun logo

A fine and unusual Dutch colonial gun

Based on the Dutch Beaumont mechanism, but with Indonesian twist forged barrel and golden inlays.
Eight Buddhist treasures

Eight Buddhist Treasures

A suite of eight auspicious symbols used in Buddhist art.
Sword guard

"South China Sea Guard"

Most likely used by the multi-cultural crews of pirate fleets that roamed the South China seas.
Nanban tetsu

Nanban tetsu (南蠻鉃)

Literally: Southern barbarian steel.
Kiyou Toujin tsuba

Kiyou-Toujin Tsuba

A Japanese style sword guard made in 17th century Nagasaki Chinatown.
Aviz tsuba

House of Aviz tsuba

A Japanese sword guard with the cross of the House of Aviz.
Korean guard

A Korean sword guard

Adjusted for use on a Japanese sword.
Kiyou Toujin tsuba

Kiyou Toujin tsuba (崎陽唐人鐔)

Japanese style sword guards made by Chinese craftsmen in Nagasaki.
Asian export sword guard

Asian export sword guard

An interesting pierced iron Asian export sword guard that is part of a small group of guards that were made with a mu

Iron ship sword guard

Iron ship sword guard

A chiseled iron sword guard depicting a Dutch ship with a figure on its stern.
Asian export sword guard

Sinhalese export sword guard

A large circular Asian export sword guard with elaborate decor carved in relief on both sides.
Asian Export Sword Guard

Asian export sword guards

Sword guards that were made across Asia, specifically with export in mind.
Canton style sword guard

Fine Canton-style export sword guard

Introduction

Many Asian export sword guards, and later Japanese guards inspired by them, were modeled after

Korean love lotus guard

"Love of Lotus" Korean guard

Description

Korean ceremonial sabers of the Joseon dynasty are pretty small and often exhi

Asian export sword guard

Asian export disc guard

The design, overlaid in silver, gold, and copper, over a crosshatched background shows dragon amongst clouds.
Asian Export Tsuba

Eight-lobed openwork tsuba

Description

A fairly unusual piece, of eight-lobed design.

Japanese tsuba

A Japanese nanban style tsuba

Description

An interesting little sword guard, of fairly simple form with designs carved i

Asian export sword guard logo

Asian Export sword guard

Private collection. Not for sale.

Nanban kozuka

A nanban kozuka / kogatana

Nanban kozuka are extremely rare, and this is a particularly fine example.
Asian export sword guards logo

Nanban tsuba & Asian export sword guards

For long, "nanban tsuba" literally "Southern barbarian sword-guards" have been a catch-all classification for sword guards for Japanese swords (tsuba), that show foreign influence.