Mumei (unsigned): Tachi-Shi
Size: 8,51 cm x 8,20 cm
Thickness at rim: 0,35 cm
Weight: 178 gr
Period: Early/Mid Edo
N.B.T.H.K. Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu Certification
In kiri box
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Here we have an amazing Tsuba, showing a design of a Wisteria arranged in tomoe crest form on waves.
It has an irregular shape, made of copper and gold alloy, relief worked into the surface, gold accentuations, angular rim with a little roundness, two openings for scabbard accessories.
The tachi-kanagu-shi (sometimes also abbreviated tachi-shi) were a group of metalworkers that made fittings and tsuba for tachi mountings from Heian to Muromachi period. The origins of their craft probably lie in the manufacturing of Buddhist implements and the like.
There is also the theory that later tachi-kanagu-shi of the Muromachi and Momoyama period were working as sub-contractors and preparatory craftsmen for the Shōami or the Gotō schools and were later outsourced to individual fiefs where they produced tachi fittings and tsuba for middle-ranking bushi and habaki and seppa in general for all swords. This would explain why all early tachi-tsuba are unsigned and why they are very similar in shape and simplicity in their ornamentation. This means that for the social status for whom they worked, the individuality and representation of the wearer was neither that important nor desired.
Please enjoy the beauty of this rare piece of art.
This Tsuba was shown on May 9th 2015 at I.N.T.K. Kanshō: