Mukade-zōgan tsuba with two types of wires.
Iron, inlaid with brass and iron wire fastened to the surface with metal staples (mukade-zōgan); Brass inlay around the rim.
Design is thought to resemble a centipede. “Centipede-like inlay (mukade zogan) of alternating iron and brass staples produce an appearance that was particularly favored by Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), one of the most powerful warlords of his time. The centipede is sacred to Bishamon (God of War) and especially propitious for a warrior. Shingen type, 16th century.” [The Peabody Museum collection of Japanese sword guards with selected pieces of sword furniture, by John D. Hamilton. Photographs by Mark Sexton. Salem, MA, 1975.]
Height: 83.3 mm; Width 83.9 mm; Thickness at seppa-dai: 4.5 mm. Weight 173.6 g.
Early Edo, 17th century.