Canton ship tsuba overall
This item has been sold.
Dimensions

77.8 x 75 x 4.7 mm

Weight

101 grams

Materials

Iron, gold, copper

Origin

Canton, China

For the Japanese market

Dating

18th or 19th century

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Introduction

Among Nanban tsuba there is a genre that is best described as "Asian export sword guards," and among those, there is a distinct group that was made in China, for the Japanese market. The production center was most likely Canton.

For more information, see my article: Nanban tsuba, a Canton group.

 

This example

With the characteristic lingzhi mushroom elements in the center, surrounded by pierced openwork with fine openwork with nine undercut elements. The designs feature a tiny water dragon at the top with its characteristic split tail. Water dragons are auspicious, lesser dragons of Chinese mythology. 

At the bottom is a ship with two people wearing high, wide-brimmed hats. They may represent Dutch or Koreans.

The rim is not beaded as is usually the case, but it has two finely chiseled dragons around its circumference.

It has a copper insert in the tang opening, indicating it had been fitted to a sword.

A rarer type, cheap because of its condition.

 

Canton ship tsuba

 

Canton ship tsuba rim

 

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Currently available:

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