Nanban ship tsuba
Dimensions

76 x 73 x 4.8 mm

Weight

107 grams

Material

Iron

Origin

Japan

Dating

18th or 19th century

Provenance

From a Japanese collection

Price €475, -

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Description

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

Notes
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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