//, Objects/Nishigaki tsuba with design of bamboo by Kanshiro I. Edo period, late 17th century.

Nishigaki tsuba with design of bamboo by Kanshiro I. Edo period, late 17th century.

Iron tsuba of quatrefoil form with design of bamboo stems and leaves, and a plank bridge in openwork (sukashi). Hitsu-ana of irregular form. Iron with smooth chocolate patina. Copper and shakudō sekigane.

This piece is illustrated in Sasano: Japanese Sword Guard Masterpieces from the Sasano Collection, 1994 on page 295 under № 254 with the following description:

Nishigaki. First generation Kanshiro (died in the sixth year of Genroku, 1693, at the age of 81). Sukashi design: Bamboo (take). Early Edo period, late 17th century (Kanbun / Enppo era). Height: 72.6 mm; Width: 71.5 mm; Rim thickness: .6 mm; Centre thickness: 5.1 mm. Rounded rim.

The shape of this sword guard is a quatrefoil and the design is arranged in the form of a saddle flap. Two bamboo trunks with leaves comprise the design. Calm, soothing and sophisticated are the features of this artist in his later years. Such characteristics may remind one of the work of the first Hikozo.

Provenance: Sasano Masayuki collection, № 254.

What is interesting, and what had been found by Bruce Kirkpatrick, is that in the earlier photograph of the same piece [‘Sukashi tsuba – bushido no bi’ by Sasano Masayuki, photography by Fujimoto Shihara, 1972 (in Japanese), page 245, №201] we clearly see kebori – linear carving that decorates the bamboo leaves and the planks of the bridge. The said kebori have totally disappeared between 1972 and 1994. The tsuba became absolutely flat! Now we can only speculate about the reasons for such cruel treatment of the artistically and historically important item.

Sukashi tsuba – bushido no bi. Author: Sasano Masayuki, photography: Fujimoto Shihara, 1972 (in Japanese). Page 245, №201.

SKU: TSU-0299 Categories: ,

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