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Nara Sentoku Tsuba
A sentoku tsuba decorated in takazogan, keibori, and katakiribori depicting Hotei holding a fan in one hand and his bag of treasures in the other. An excellent patina. 7.04 cm x 6.37 cm x 4.5 mm.
There were three schools of Nara, and they were known as the sansaku. They were headed by Nara Toshinaga, Tsuchiya Yasuchika, Hamano Shozui (Masayuki )
Yasuchika founder of the Shonai school of Nara, a student of Yoshihisa (Chinkyu). He favored the designs of the Korin paintings, kusabana (grasses and flowers) tomabushi (thatched boat) Hotei, tsubame (waves and birds) chidori , tigers, elephant, etc.
Shozui specialized in high relief engraving. He mostly employed oxen, horses, boars, bears, and Chinese people.
Toshinaga mostly made fuchi-kashira, and few tsuba and kozuka. His specialty was people, and many warriors, wood cutters, shepherds, fishermen are depicted. He also pictured oxen, shishi, birds, etc.
This is probably the work of the Shonai branch of Nara.