An oval sentoku tsuba with metal fukurin (rim cover)overlaid in silver, gold, shakudo and copper. The setting for the front of the tsuba is a mysterious nocturnal scene of a fisherman with two cormorants by the river’s edge. The practice of using cormorants to catch small river fish dates to the Nara Period when the fisherman would tie the bird’s neck with rope to prevent the bird from swallowing the fish. The reverse side of the tsuba depicts a truncated image of a boat among water reeds and on the fukurin, a green-enameled cormorant in mid-flight. This brilliant tsuba is in excellent condition, showing only slight wear, due to usage.
Width: 3”, length: 3.25”
19th Century, Japan