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Ko Katchushi Tsuba


A large Ko Katchushi tsuba.  Its size and nakagoana argue for Middle Nambokucho (1350 - 1360) when swords were extremely large.  9.649 cm x 9.634 cm x  web thickness 2 mm., average mimi measurement 6.5 mm.   Granular tekotsu.  Excellent condition.   In a custom fitted box with hakogaki by Dr. Sato Kanzan.    Hakogaki by Sato Kenzan, noting that it is an old make and especially precious (chincho). I had offered this to Bob Haynes, who confirmed the age, but he already has one exactly like it.      $6,500



Cover: 甲冑師作, 菊花透鍔

Interior: Katchushi Saku, Kikubana Sukashi Tsuba

丸形鉄地景透, 土手耳無銘, 甲冑師

Marugata Tetsuji Kagesukashi, Dotemimi Mumei, Katchushi

 有古香珍重, 昭和癸丑年夏, 寒山信

Ari Kokou Chincho, Showa Kichunen Natsu, Kanzan Shin

In this case, the meaning of Kokou Chincho means something exuding the elegance or feeling of very old times that should be treasured.  This cannot be overstated.  Keep in mind that this hakogaki is dated Summer of 1962 at a time when ko-katchushi were referred to as katchushi. 

As other examples of this Nanbokucho Period tsuba have been found it is believed that it is related to a larger commission by either one if the figurehead emperors of the Minamoto / Ashikaga in Kyoto (Northern court) or Godaigo in Yoshino (Southern court).  Either of these groups would have used the “kikubana” or chrysanthemum flower as a symbol of their authority. 

This is a high-quality, oversized box from the 1960s and the underside of the pillow shows decades of patterning of the kiku leaves impressed on it. 

The nakago-ana is 32mm tall and 10mm wide to accommodate the large blades of the Nanbokucho Period.  The tsuba is ubu and features a lustrous dark-brown patina.  Linear and granular tekkotsu can be seen on the dote-mimi and slightly varying surfaces can be appreciated as well.  There are areas of standing martensite on the jita that glimmer when handling the tsuba in direct light.  








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