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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