Mei (signed): Dewa Akita-jū – Shōami Denbei
Size: 8,0 cm x 8,0 cm
Thickness at rim: 0,60 cm
Period: Mid Edo
N.B.T.H.K. Hozon Certification
In Kiri box
Most of the Kin was restored by a professional Japanese Tsuba-shi in 2016, because of the missing part.
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This round shape tsuba is made of iron, in nikubori ji-sukashi, and shows the so-called Genji Cart Wheel family crest that is accentuated with gold nunome-zōgan.
This is a work of master Shōami Denbei (正阿弥傳兵衛, 1651-1727), the most important Akita-Shōami artist of the mid-Edo period; his masterworks resemble fine Umetada tsuba or Ko-Shōami works.
The first artist recorded for using Mokumegane tecnique was Shōami Denbei.
Mokume (wood eye) Gane (metal) is a technique of Japanese origins by which layers of alternating colors of precious metals are fused, forged and patterned to create swirling images of color in a sheet of metal.
Shōami Denbei is counted as 1st generation of Akita Shōami group.
His civilian name was Suzuki Shigeyoshi.
He was born in Shōnai, in Dewa province, in the fourth year of Kei’an (1651). When he was 18 years old, he left Akita and went to Edo where he studied under Shōami Yoshinaga (正阿弥吉長), who gave him the family name “Shōami” in Enpō four (1676) and granted him the craftsman name “Denbei”.
Upon his return to Akita, he was employed by the Daimyō of the fief, the Satake family, and soon became the best Akita-Shōami artist.
Denbei retired in Kyōhō eight (1723) at the age of 73.
He was succeeded by is son-in-law Dennai and died on the twelfth day of the third month of Kyōhō twelve (1727) at the age of 77.