Unusual tsuba with foreign figures and Chinese auspicious symbols.
76.5 x 69 x 6 mm
Iron, gold, shakudō
18th - 19th century
From a Japanese collection
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A Chinese saber guard of rounded square form, featuring two facing dragon among scrollwork with undercutting.
This saber guard is probably made in Canton in the 18th century, closely mimicking earlier 16th-17th century saber guards of northern China. It may have been intended for the domestic, or perhaps the Japanese market. The narrowness of the center plate with tang opening suggests it was for local use.
Be that as it may, it did end up in Japan, where it got mounted, probably on a wakizashi. A kozuka-hitsu-ana was cut to accommodate the hilt of the by-knife often carried in Japanese sword scabards. It later fell into disuse and was plugged with shakudō.
A fine example of later Chinese openwork in iron.
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Pierced and chiseled showing an 18th century European vessel.
Very finely carved with designs reminiscent of export wares.
In the style of northern work of the 16th and 17th centuries
Chinese work for the Japanese market.
Canton work for the Japanese market, with 28 metal balls in separate compartments.