Mumei (unsigned): Aizu Shōami school
Size: 9,1 cm x 9,0 cm
Thickness at rim: 0,6 cm
Period: Mid Edo
N.B.T.H.K. Hozon Certification
In Kiri box
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This is a huge tsuba with an amazing spider motif.
Round shape, iron with hammer blow finish, set-in inlay, gold accentuations, folded-over rim, two openings for scabbard accessories.
Dr. Torigoye wrote that the origin of the Aizu Shōami School is unknown. There was a theory, put forward by Nagaoka Tsuneki, that Shōami Jirohachi was the founder. He was born in Omi province as a samurai’s son in the Tenshō era. He studied tōsōgu-making in the Kyōto Shōami group and is said to have become a retainer of Katō Yoshiakira. Nagaoka also said that Jirohachi came to Aizu with his lord Yoshiakira when he was appointed governor of Aizu in 1627. Jirohachi retired in 1643 to the city of Edo.
The Aizu Shōami School was active from Genroku era to the end of Edo period.
The shinmaru-gata shape is often encountered.
Both hitsu-ana are often shaped like kogai-hitsu, in contrast with the standard kozuka-hitsu and kogai-hitsu configuration.
The iron ji can be encountered in several varieties. The first type is a thick plate with a dark brown patina and strong variations in the surface, having a rough appearance. This type of ji is often highly tempered and will show abundant hard martensite crystals on the surface. The second type is a more polished ji with a chocolate brown patina. The third type has a deep rich purple-black patina on a thick plate, with a luster similar to the iron sukashi works from Genroku times.