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Lark & Moon Tsuba
A large understated iron tsuba picturing a lark on the face and a crescent moon on the reverse. An extremely well forged plate, not the factory iron that one might expect at first glance. Signed on the back with two han stamped into the plate, neither of which is recognizable. An uneven rounded rectangle: 8.33 cm x 7.7 cm tapering to 7.41 cm. 5.5 mm thick at the mimi. Excellent condition. The forging of the plate seems to good for later work. $550
From a photograph, Robert Haynes said that this is a very strange tsuba, and that he had no idea who made this. It is likely a nineteenth century swordsmith guard, as hot stamps were used in late Edo.
I just came across Skip Holbrook's notes on this tsuba, "Higo 'dilatant' - Lark & Moon - Jingo influence - Early Edo".
Whichever is correct, it is a very fine tsuba, and still $550.