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Pair of menuki

Pair of menuki

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1660-1724 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    copper-gold alloy (<i>shakudo</i>) with gold and silver

  • Museum number:

    M.138-1924

  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 1 []

This pair of hilt fittings, menuki in Japanese, are made of shakudo, an alloy of copper and gold which is generally patinated to a rich black colour. They are covered with gold and silver depicting almost identical designs of a bow and quiver of arrows.

Physical description

Pair of hilt-fittings (menuki), copper-gold alloy (shakudo) with gold and silver depicting almost identical designs of bow and quiver of arrows, signed Goto and Mitsuyo)

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

ca. 1660-1724 (made)

Materials and Techniques

copper-gold alloy (shakudo) with gold and silver

Marks and inscriptions

signed Goto and Mitsuyo)

Dimensions

Length: 6.9 cm approx.

Descriptive line

Pair of hilt-fittings (menuki), copper-gold alloy (shakudo) with gold and silver depicting almost identical designs of bow and quiver of arrows, signed Goto and Mitsuyo) (Goto Joha, died 1724), Japan

Labels and date

Hilt ornaments (menuki)

Menuki are small decorative items made in pairs and bound to either side of the sword hilt. They were positioned on the hilt so that they fitted the palm of the hand when the sword was used, giving a better grip. In some cases they also hid the peg that secured the hilt to the blade. Hilt ornaments were sometimes made in matching sets with the skewers (kōgai) and the handles (kozuka) of utility knives that fitted into the scabbard.
[04/11/2015]

Materials

Copper; Gold; Silver

Subjects depicted

Quiver; Arrows; Bow

Categories

Arms & Armour

Collection

East Asia Collection

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