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Shinchu Daisho Tsuba


A maritime import, a married shinchu daisho tsuba. Dai  8.441 cm x 8.427 x 3.54  mm.  Sho 6.428 cm   6.256 cm x 4.37 mm.  The dai circa 1575 - 1600.  The sho, although in the old style, appears much younger, likely around 1700.  I spoke with Robert Haynes about this set.  He said that he had one of these in his collection, but that he wasn't sure about their orgin,   He thought that they were likely a Chinese import tsuba, especially because of the rectangular cut for the fitting the blade.  

Comment from Jaes McElhinney:  The pointed clouds suggest late Ming*  as age of production. The auspicious symbols engraved into the plates would seem to confirm this. The smooth dragon and trident brazier-like jewel are Indochinese tropes, so these could be Vietnamese

What I understand from people better informed about Chinese swords is that officers' swords bore iron guards, while common soldiers side arms had brass and copper guards. Soft metal tsuba were recovered in the Philippines from the wreck of galleon San Diego, aboard which Japanese Ronin served as marine. 

These guards seem to have been adapted to Japanese use. Hitsu-ana are clearly later additions.                              $1,000

*Ming dynasty:  1368 - 1644.



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