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Tsuba

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Museum number:

    M.645-1916

  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 1

The tsuba is a protective guard fitted between the hilt and the blade of a sword. Originally they were simple iron disks, sometimes decorated by piercing or hammering in low relief. Later sword guards were more often made of copper alloys, patinated to a wide range of colours and inlaid with other coloured metals. Sword guards became miniature art forms, and different schools of makers developed their own unique styles.

Physical description

Japanese sword guard made of iron. Rounded oblong in shape with a roped silver rim. Encrusted in high relief with a seated tiger in gilt metal.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Dimensions

Length: 7.37 cm, Height: 6.73 cm

Descriptive line

Met, Japan, SF

Labels and date

The tsuba is a protective guard fitted between the hilt and the blade of a sword. Originally they were simple iron disks, sometimes decorated by piercing or hammering in low relief. Later sword guards were more often made of copper alloys, patinated to a wide range of colours and inlaid with other coloured metals. Sword guards became miniature art forms, and different schools of makers developed their own unique styles. [04/11/2015]

Materials

Iron; Silver; Gold

Subjects depicted

Tigers

Categories

Arms & Armour

Collection

East Asia Collection

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