PROBABLY 18TH CENTURY - - -
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The solid iron plate of nearly round shape and convex surface. Both the front (omote) and the back (ura) are framed with a decorative overlaid band of damascened silver applied to a crosshatched, chisel-roughened ground. This decoration consists of rune-like characters, which may be or aspire to be actual language (possibly Korean) or may simply be pseudo-characters, made to look like language. The tsuba is pierced with two holes, or hitsu-ana, which have been plugged in shakudo alloy. The front of the tsuba features chiseled symmetrical decoration of dragon-like beasts framing a sacred pearl or orb. The back features a decorative cloud pattern, and the edge of the plate shows traces of gold damascening.
74 mm. by 70 mm.
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