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Kozuka

Kozuka

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hamano, Masayuki, born 1696 - died 1769 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    copper-silver alloy (<i>shibuichi</i>) with gold low relief and engraving

  • Museum number:

    M.118-1936

  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 1

This handle for a scabbard knife is called a kozuka. It is made of shibuichi, an alloy of copper and silver which is normally patinated to give a wide variety of colours from silver to brown as well as a range of greys. This example is decorated with gold low relief and engraving which depicts the front view of a tiger.

It has been signed "Hamano Masayuki, aged 70".

Physical description

Handle (kozuka) for a scabbard-knife, copper-silver alloy (shibuichi) with gold low relief and engraving depicting front view of a tiger, signed Hamano Masayuki aged 70

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

ca. 1750-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Hamano, Masayuki, born 1696 - died 1769 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

copper-silver alloy (shibuichi) with gold low relief and engraving

Marks and inscriptions

signed Hamano Masayuki aged 70

Descriptive line

Handle (kozuka) for a scabbard-knife, copper-silver alloy (shibuichi) with gold low relief and engraving depicting front view of a tiger, signed Hamano Masayuki aged 70, Hamano school, Japan, ca. 1750-1800

Labels and date

Skewers, utility knives and handles (kōgai, kogatana and kozuka)

The scabbards of some swords had slots into which small skewers (kōgai) and knives (kogatana) fitted. The handles of the knives are called kozuka. Holes in the sword guard allowed the skewers and knives to slide in and out of the scabbard without the sword being drawn. The skewers were used by samurai to arrange their hair and clean their ears. Some were bifurcated and could be used as chopsticks. The skewers and knife handles were usually made from patinated copper alloy and often decorated with matching designs.
[04/11/2015]

Materials

Copper; Silver; Gold

Techniques

Relief; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Tiger

Categories

Arms & Armour

Collection

East Asia Collection

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