As part of our Japanese works of art collection we are delighted to offer this large and exceptional quality Meiji Period 1868-1912, bronze and mixed metal tsuba ( sword hand guard) this finely made tsuba depicts a temple guardian ( Nio ) aside a fence and foliage, the detail rendered in soft alloys including copper silver and gold upon an interesting bark textured bronze plate, the rear depicts a hare aside a character beneath an umbrella, as well as clothing attached to a silver pin, once again worked in mixed alloys upon the bark textured plate, the reverse inscription suggests that the tsuba was made in the spring of the year Kanoe-saru suggesting a date of manufacture of 1860, the front face of the tsuba is signed Somin with a kao monogram referring to the Edo period Somin school of metalwork masters.
It is evident that the signature and inscriptions on Meiji Period tsubas and indeed many sword fittings of this type bore dedications to the early famous schools of metalworkers, in this instance the Somin school founded in 1670 by Somin I and continued through to Somin IV ( born 1795) in my opinion this tsuba was manufactured in the latter part of the 19th century and is Meiji Period.
For a similar recorded tsuba with the same inscription and date attribution see : https://www.bonhams.com/auction/26087/lot/1151/after-yokoya-somin-a-fine-shibuichi-tsuba meiji-era-1868-1912-late-19th-century/#
The tsuba comes direct from a European collection.
Condition report :
Lovely original condition with age related wear.
Approximate Sizes :
Height : 3 1/2″ 9 cm
Width : 3 1/8″ 7.8 cm
Free worldwide delivery and a certificate of authenticity are included within the price of this item.