Nanban ship tsuba

76 x 73 x 4.8 mm


107 grams






18th or 19th century


From a Japanese collection

Price €475, -

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A Japanese nanban tsuba of the 18th or 19th century, depicting an 18th-century European rigged ship.

Such tsuba differ in quality from excellently made to shiiremono; ready-made, mass-produced goods. This one tends towards shiiremono especially in the kind of careless way the beaded rim is shaped. The ship itself, however is nicely carved and a notch above the typical shiiremono. And even within that genre, Western ships are quite rare.

Guards with such motifs were popular in the 19th century when Western learning was all the hype. Nanban-style guards were among others popular among doctors who were fascinated with Western medicine.1

1. Charles R. Boxer; European influence on Japanese Sword Fittings 1543-1853
Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society. 
London. Volume 26, pages 151-178.


Iron nanban ship tsuba
Iron nanban ship tsuba
Iron nanban ship tsuba
Iron nanban ship tsuba

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I might be interested in buying it.

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With NBTHK Hozon papers.


Carved out of copper alloy with details highlighted in gold.


Very delicate work with carved guardian lions.


Of a copper alloy with a different shade on each side.


Unusual tsuba with foreign figures and Chinese auspicious symbols.


One of his classic designs, signed by the maker.