OUTSTANDING AND RARE SHAKUDO CHÔSHÛ TSUBA  長州萩住清高作 020822

OUTSTANDING AND RARE SHAKUDO CHÔSHÛ TSUBA  長州萩住清高作 020822
6.13.22 admin@nihonto

This is an amazing tsuba.  I have seen many fine Chôshû tsuba over the years, but one carved in shakudo is extremely rare.  This tsuba was made by Kiyotaka who was the founder of the Inoue family line of Chôshû metalworkers.  He was a metalsmith who was retained by the Daimyo of the Chôshû feudal domain.  He lived in the 1700’s and he died at the ripe old age or 70 or 71 which was very old in those days.

This tsuba is signed Côshû Hagi Jû Kiyotaka Saku (長州萩住清高作).  This is a round tsuba with a very dark rich color to the metal which indicates a high gold content in its composition.  It depicts the famous story of Nakakuni playing his flute.  He was a noble of the court of the Emperor Go Shirakawa.  He is shown on horseback playing his flute outside a house of Saga, near Arashi Yama (mountain).  It was there that he discovered, through the sounds of her koto, the exiled musician, the Kogo no Tsubone.  A very romantic story, indeed.

This tsuba measures approximately 7.23 cm round or 2 13/16 inches.  The thickness of the rim (mimi) is 0.51 cm or about 3/16 inches.  The quality of the carving is unbelievable.  The details of the facial expressions of Nakakuni and his attendant are crystal clear and full of expression.  The trees, moon, house, horse, etc. are all of equal quality.  The condition of this tsuba is superb and it looks like it was made yesterday.  This tsuba was treasured and cared for throughout its long life.  Accordingly, it was awarded Tokubetsu Hozon papers in 2020 when it came onto the market from a major Japanese collection.

SOLD

NBTHK TOKUBETSU HOZON CERTIFICATION PAPERS