Sword Guard (Tsuba)

Inscribed by Ishiguro Masayoshi Japanese

Not on view

Tsuba were originally utilitarian fittings, made to protect the hand from the cuts of an opponent's sword. From the sixteenth century onward, however, more decorative tsuba became the specialty of some craftsmen. By the nineteenth century, when this tsuba was made, there were many well-defined schools and styles of tsuba making. Tsuba were interchangeable and were often made as part of sets of matching sword fittings, which could be mounted with blades of various types and dates. This tsuba features a design of bamboo amid rocks.

Sword Guard (Tsuba), Inscribed by Ishiguro Masayoshi (Japanese, 1772–after 1851), Copper-gold alloy (shakudō), gold, copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), copper, Japanese

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