This ring is Japanese Shakudo circa 1880. Shakudo is the art of utilizing mixed metals such as copper,silver and gold and creating works of art. It is an alloy of approximately 96 percent copper and 4 percent gold and when patinated turns a fine gray/black.
Highly trained Japanese artisans used their skills in the art of Shakudo, to adorn the swords of the Samurai warriors. Following the Haitoreo Edict in 1877, forbidding the use of weapons, the culture of the Samurai was abruptly ended. The artists desperately tying to support themselves, resorted to alternate means of economic survival. They refashioned bits and pieces of the swords to create jewelry for the Western markets, as well as designs for the Japanese women to adorn their kimonos and hair. Sadly, the industry could not sustain itself and this
distinctive form of art ended.,
This early 19th century plaque which originally adorned a sword, has been transformed as a ring in the later part of the 19th century, There are three men incorporated in the design, one who is old and bearing a long beard, hands wrapped around a sword. Another behind, and one below him. There are gold and silver inlays in the copper ground throughout the design. The setting is in silver(800) and marked on the reverse. There is a primitive quality to the metalwork, which adds to its charm.
The ring is a size 7 1/2 and can easily be sized. The central element is 1 3/8 inches long X 3/4 inches across. It is equally dramatic, worn by a man or woman.
Japan, circa 1880