Mei (signed): Sano Naonobu + kaō
Size: 7,2 cm x 6,9 cm
Thickness at rim: 0,4 cm
Period: Late Edo
N.B.T.H.K. Tokubetsu Hozon Certification
In Kiri box
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Here we have an excellent tsuba depicting a tiger near the river with bamboo, by Sano Naonobu + kaō.
Round shape, iron, polished finish, sukidashi-takabori, kaku-mimi.
The founder of the Sano school was Naoyoshi, who was a student of Nakamura Naonori (中村直矩). That means via the Yanagawa the Sano school was an offshoot of the Yokoya school. Naoyoshi was employed by the Akimoto family (秋元), the daimyō of Dewa’s Yamagata fief (山形藩) from 1767 to 1845, but his workshop was in Edo’s Shiba-Shirokane district (芝白金町). Regarding his workmanship, he was oriented towards the style of the Yokoya and the Yanagawa school. In old sources, we find very favourable ratings like “high-quality, excellently executed works in Yokoya-style” or entries which refer to the overall style like “the Sano school had its origins in the Yokoya school but we can see an adoption of new fashions and elements”. The strong point of many of the subsequent Sano students was the application of family crests in takabori-iroe on kozuka, kōgai and tsuba. Naoyoshi died on the eleventh day of the sixth month of Bunkyū 2 (1862).
Naonobu (直信) – his first name was Ribei (利兵衛) – was a student of Naoyoshi, whose daughter he married later on. Therefore, he was adopted into the Sano family, but split from the mainline and opened up his own branch. One of his students was Morinobu (盛信) whose first name was “Kōjirō” (幸次郎) and who was active during the Bunsei era (1818-1830).