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Umetada Tsuba



An early Umetada tsuba decorated with 3-5-3 kiri floating on waves.  7.03 cm x 6.41 cm x 3.9 mm.  The copper plate is covered in finely worked sheet gold in keibori and takabori, with a heavy gold rope mimi.  There is excellent orange kinsabi (gold rust) on both front, back, and mmi.  The black spots are remnants of black lacquer.   At one time there was a prohibition from wearing gold fittings, and I suspect that this was to disguise the tsuba rather than having it melted down.  There is a good deal of weight to the tsuba, and several people who have been long in this business, and whose opinions I hold in high regard, opined that there was probably $2,000 in scrap value.  Very fine condition, with the exception of a few cuts below the chukensettsu on the back (see picture).  NBTHK Hozon just posted.

My opinion is that this dates from Momoyama, a time of ostentatious display, and reflective of the tastes of the Kinkakuji (1392) and Ginkakuji (1487).                                                                                          

Detail and Kinsabi

NBTHK Kanteisho

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