Japanese nanban tsuba
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70 x 69 x 6 mm


91 grams


Probably Japanese, inspired by Chinese design


Iron, gold


18th - 19th century


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A rather good example of a Japanese-made nanban tsuba.

It features two dragons chasing the pearl of wisdom in foliage. The dragons are very well articulated and the scrollwork deeply undercut on several places. The center plate for the tang aperture is worked with a wave pattern that is commonly found also on Asian export sword guards originating from outside of Japan.

Purely Japanese sword guards are usually not decorated there because the part, when mounted, is hidden by washers or seppa. That this Japanese-made guard does have them perhaps indicates that it was not meant to be mounted, but rather appreciated on its own.


A beautiful Japanese-made guard that was inspired by Chinese saber guards of the 17th century. Comes with depicted hand made wooden box for storage and display.


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Currently available:

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

Price on request

A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.


A by-knife for a Japanese sword, with a hilt shaped like a sword tang.


A peculiar tsuba with a depiction of Bodhidharma and two dragon chasing a pearl.


Executed in "nanban style" openwork with chiseled and gold-encrusted peonies.


A fine and unusually large tsuba. Attributed to Hizen by the NBTHK.