An excellent shakudo tsuba inlaid with a "thousand flowers" decoration in gold, silver and sentoku. The technique is particular, the tsuba is first cast in shakudo with all the flowers in relief, then chiseled. Then each flower is covered with a thick sheet of metal, gold, silver or sentoku, this sheet is hammered on the sides of the flowers as one would border a bed sheet. Excellent work , exceedingly difficult more than inlaid. This was not done to save material nor economy, because the silver and especially the sentoku are of little value but to keep a solidity at the guard which would have been too weakened by deep incustation cuts. A part of a sentoku chrysanthemum is missing that can be seen on a photo revealing the shakudo base.
Otherwise perfect condition, no restorations or hidden defects.
Curiously no signature which is unusual for an object of this quality. But I have already had and seen Japanese objects of exceptional quality unsigned because as they were intended for the emperor or other important persons it would have been outrageous that an artist affixes his name.
Maybe also the signature was only on the fushi? very unlikely because the tsuba is the main part of the mounting. A tsuba of a pair of "daisho" of which only one has been signed? also unlikely. A final hypothesis, some great artist artists with exceptional work, knowing that their works were technically and / or artistically inimitable, could afford not to sign, the masterpiece that could only have been made by them