Shibuichi tsuba with engraving, relief and colored metal high and low relief inlays. Two dancing men with umbrella on a veranda, surrounded by pine seedlings. New Year’s scene. Signed Gyokyryuken Nobukazu and kao. Edo period, mid 19th century.
H 2 ½ inches.
Two scratches on verso.
Forged iron tsuba, rather thick, in the shape of a cross, pierced on each end with an inoshishime (boar’s eye). The decoration of the cross, Christian symbol, is hardly perceivable when the tsuba is mounted on a sword, thus being kakure kirishitan, a hidden Christian, symbol. Owari region, Japan, 18th century.
Diameter 3 in. (7.6 cm).
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Ornament in the form of a karasu-tengu (crow tengu) mask, as used in the bugaku theater. Thin chased and corroded iron. Japan, 19th century.
H 5 ½ inches.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a helmet with a similar ornament. Accession no. 36.25.133a–d. Viewable online.
Very small cast iron signal or gun powder cannon, raised on two cast iron wheels. There is a small mark of a cross in a circle, the crest of the Satsuma family in the south of Kyushu, and underneath there is an unidentified mark, that could be read ‘ten’ (heaven) or perhaps simply A.
Japan, Meiji period, around 1900.
Length ca. 10.5 inches.
Forged iron tsuba in nanban style with undercutting. Design of a rain dragon on the bottom of each, their tails intertwining with the karakusa, interspersed with lotus flowers and leaves. Unsigned. Japan, Edo period, probably late 18th century.
Height: 3 inches ; width: 2 7/8 inches (7.5 x 7.3 cm).
Few light rust spots in deeper areas.
Ex private collection Netherlands.
Two stacks of each 5 flat boxes or trays for storing kozuka, fuchi-kashira or other small and flat objects, the tops both covered with a lid. Both stacks stand on a rectangular bottom plate, tied with a braided silk rope. Shitan (sandal wood). Meiji period, around 1900.
Bottom plate: 9 7/8 x 8 5/8 in. (25 x 21.8 cm). Each tray 8 3/8 x 4 ¾ x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 12.1 2.8 cm).
Bottom plate with split, traces of re-gluing at the trays, braid virtually worn down, minor warping of the sides of the trays, one short crack in one cover, one cover coming loose. All in all good condition with minor traces of usage.
Cylindrical box with cover, made of bent wood, the seams stitched with bark or other fiber. The wood is covered with a very dark brown or black finish. Height 8 ¾ in. (23.1 cm); diameter 9 7/8 in. (25.4 cm). Some worm damage, edges strongly rubbed here and there, the original finish crackled and brittle. Edo period, 18th century.
Purportedly this box was used to transport severed heads from the battle field back to the families or to the person who was interested in seeing the man or woman dead. Or perhaps it was used to keep the severed head at the execution grounds.
Jingasa or flat helmet, slightly domed in the center. Unusual surface of irregular brown lacquer. On the edge is a crest in gold, in the shape of the Kaga umebachi crest. The inside plain red lacquer, a richer red than the photos suggest. In the middle the cotton head cushion and one of the chinstraps. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Diam. 17 in. (33.4 cm), height ca. 2.75 in. (7 cm).
Core probably wood and leather. Some thin cracks in the lacquer on the inside, some tiny chips on the rim on the inside, otherwise very good condition.
This crest was used by various families and the clan to which the wearer of the helmet belonged, cannot be pinpointed.