**Originally Listed At $350**
East Asia, Japan, Edo Period, ca. later 18th to early 19th century CE. A fabulous forged-iron maru-gata (round) tsuba, a disc-shaped hand guard traditionally employed on Japanese swords. The obverse side of the tsuba displays a pair of applied copper abstract forms - at top and bottom of the Nakago-ana (central blade opening). The rest of the face has a beautiful illustration of a tree with selected leaves and areas of the ground gilded. A decorative hole is to one side of the Nakago-ana. The reverse side exhibits several marks and a signature, visible in the photographs above. Size: 2.6" W (6.6 cm)
A tsuba is the hand guard of a traditional Japanese sword, usually a katana or tachi. Its primary purposes are to balance the sword, prevent one's hand from sliding down the blade and, as a last resort, as a block against an opponent's thrust or slash. However, as time and skills developed, the tsuba evolved into an artistic item and symbol representing wealth, prestige, or skills as a swordsman. Early tsuba, known as neri tsuba, were made of leather encased in an iron or wooden frame which was occasionally lacquered for strength and stability.
Provenance: ex-private Ft. Myers, Florida, USA collection of a prominent physician
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Slight wear to the gilding on the lower part. Otherwise in really nice condition with a rich oxidized patina on the iron surface.