T292. Iron Higo Tsuba Papered to Jingo, 3rd Generation


T292.  Iron tsuba with yakite surface and touches of nunome zogan silver, papered by the NBTHK to Shimizu Jingo.  7.5 x 7.9 x .4 cm.  The nakago hitsu-ana is .9 x 2.8 cm.  A rain dragon adorns one side and stylized Kanji (I believe) the other.  The iron is lustrous, wonderful, the best.  My pictures don’t do it justice though.  In hand the tsuba looks as if wet; this tsuba glows.

How is it that I can call this 3rd Jingo master?  As it was explained to me by someone who knows Higo tsuba: on the paper the Kanji used for Jingo tells us something.  For the first and second masters they use the early kanji for “go”:  甚五.  For the 3rd & 4th masters (as is the case with this tsuba): 甚 吾.  Because of the highly refined simplicity of the design and top quality iron surface, I choose to give this to the 3rd, who is recognized as the better smith of the 3rd and 4th.  Whichever is responsible, this is a treasure.

Note: A friend has pointed out that this tsuba is pretty much identical to one in the book: Tetsu Tsuba (Iron Tsuba: The Works of the Exhibition “Kurogane no Hana”) from The National Sword Museum in Tokyo.  I’ve added a picture from the book and, in case the text isn’t readable, here is what they say about their’s.  Amaryo zu tsuba (Rain dragon)  Mumei: Jingo (2nd generation)  early 17th century.  This tsuba has an irregular mokko-gata which is in perfect harmony with the round and neat zogan inlay of the rain dragon.  A piece full of personality and so typical of the 2nd generation Jingo.

Comes with the paper dated 2010 and a fitted box with pillow.  There is a paper label in English (NBTHK Shimizu 3rd master water dragon) on the side of the box.  $2,500.

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