PROVENANCE:    Robert E. Haynes
                                            Elliott D. Long
Collection Tsuba, Please Inquire
"A large round copper plate of katana size with the face showing Hotei riding on a horse, that looks much like a mule, or perhaps a Mongolian pony. His staff and fan are carved and inlaid on the reverse side. The plate surface is ishime of very fine grain. The horse, robe and staff are in pure shishiai style. The head, body and arm of Hotei are above surface inlay, as is the fan on the reverse side. The clouds are carved well below the plate surface and have gold inlay touches and a silver moon on the back side. The amount of detail carving is hard to see in some cases, as it is so fine. The quality of this tsuba is far superior to that of many others with this same subject, and shows the true ability of the work of Joi.
Read complete descriptive article by Robert Haynes titled 'The M. Arthur Kay Sugiura Joi Tsuba HERE.


One of the most noted pupils of Toshinaga I was Shozui or Masayuki (1695-1769), who founded the Hamano school, whose members created some of the finest objects of metal-work, primarily in fittings for the sword. Like those of his master, most of Masayuki's designs are taken from the history and folk-lore of the country, although he and his followers show great originality, as well in the portrayal of nature subjects.

PROVENANCE:    Robert E. Haynes
                                            Elliott D. Long
Collection Tsuba, Please Inquire
"Oval shakudo plate with a deep blue hue. The face with the legend of Choryo and Koseki, at the time Choryo was retrieving the shoe of Koseki from the river inhabited by a dragon. Koseki is on horseback, top left and Choryo is bottom right, with a gold shoe in hand, beside the dragon (read the legend HERE). The inlay is of copper, gold, and silver. The carving style and the subject remind one of the work of the Hamano school at this same time. The reverse of the plate has a water fall, clouds, rocks and plants in the river very boldly carved and inlaid in gold and silver.
The face is signed on the right side of the seppa-dai: 'Yurakusai Sekibun', H 08118.0.
This is the rather early work by the first Sekibun, born in 1790, and died in 1872. In 1790 he was adopted by the Hamano family of artists and was a student of that school until he went to Shonai in 1824. So it would seem that this tsuba was made by him before 1824, when he was still working with the Hamano family school. This just might be his earliest work so far recorded.
There were three generations of the name Sekibun and the last two worked in Shonai. This example of the very early work of the first Sekibun is very rare and shows his great ability at a very early age." (Haynes)


Shodai Bizen Suruga Master
Early Edo period.
Round iron plate with characters 'Haku-Raku-Ten' pattern in positive and negative sukashi.
Sup: Hakkyoi, a great Chinese poet, lived in Middle T'ang from 8th to 9th century. He is known under the pen name 'Hakurakuten.'

Early Edo period.
Round iron plate with ten sword beans in positive sukashi.
Kaku mimi ko niku.
Thickness: 2.79mm.
Sup: Notice Kuchi-beni.

In the style of first Suruga (ca. 1625).
Note copper plugs at top and bottom of central opening, typical of this school.
Thickness at center, 3.25mm; at edge, 4.0mm.
Robert E. Haynes owned this tsuba in 1963.

From TSUBA KANSHOKI, 1965. pg. 27
(seal belongs to Robert E. Haynes)
"Round iron plate with kaku mimi ko niku, ji sukashi of two rings, and lead-filled hitsu-ana.
Signatures both sides are being studied (very faint) to confirm evidence of being made by TAKATSUGU (in early life called Haruta Chuzaemon)."(Haynes)
Accompanied with N.T.H.K. Kanteisho Certificate No. 6053 dated 2017.

Nidai Bizen Suruga Master
"Round iron plate with sukashi design of five boat paddles. This is the work, though unsigned, of the 2nd Bizen Suruga Master. He is Haruta, later Suruga, IETSUGU (H 01834.0). He worked in the Momoyama to early Edo period at Okayama city in Bizen Province for the Ikeda Daimyo, as did a number of the later generations of this family school. Besides the style and subject matter we can see the hand of this master in the copper plugs that he insert at the top and bottom of the nakago-ana, which his father had used before him, as did several of the later generations. The bottom copper plug has been removed in this example. This master often used the designs of his father, such as we see in this example, but in later life he created many designs of his own. A very fine classic example of the early work of this artist." (Long)

Sandai Bizen Suruga Master
"Round iron sukashi tsuba with design of a rudder. Symbolic meaning of steering a boat and guiding a samurai. An excellent example of the work of the 3rd Suruga Master. The surfaces have no flaws or any signs of rust or corrosion and appear as if polished (meigaku-ji). There are few iron bones (tekkotsu) present in the rim. The sekigane is in classic Suruga style and in tack. This style of sekigane is called kuchi-beni - "open mouth red lips".

The signature (mei) reads 'INSHU JU SURUGA SAKU'. He is the 3rd Bizen Suruga Master, H 09041.0. This family name was used by the later members of the original Haruta family school, after they moved to Suruga Province. The third generation signed Inshu Suruga or Inshu Suruga Saku." (Long)

"Iron plate shape of the Uzume mask (Otafuku), and with a bold carved rope rim. The hitsu-ana in the shape of the half Matsukawabishi mon. The ishime ground of the plate still retains some of the original black lacquer surface, mostly on the face. The original copper plugs at the top and bottom of the nakago-ana have added copper when this tsuba was remounted at a later date.

The face is signed: 'INSHU JU SURUGA SAKU'. Muneie was the third generation of the Bizen Suruga family school. He was born at Okayama in Bizen Province in 1625 as the son of the second Bizen Suruga master, Ietsugu (H 01834.0). He went, it is said on June 4, 1632 to Totori in Inaba Province, with Lord Ikeda when he was posted to Inaba, and thus he was to sign, as this tsuba, Inshu (Inaba) Suruga saku." (Long)

From 'TSUBA, An Aesthetic Study' by Kazutaro Torigore & Robert E. Haynes.

In its early stages the Suruga school was a branch of the Haruta school living in Suruga Province. In the past it had been thought that the first Haruta did not make any tsuba. Now there is good evidence to show that the first Haruta did make tsuba, but probably not before moving to Bizen. His work is exceedingly rare and no known signed pieces.
The genealogy of this family is certain. The first, Takatsugu lived at Fuchu (now Shizuoka) in Suruga Province about the Tensho era (1575-1592). He was a samurai in the service of Lord Ikeda, and from Suruga followed his master to Yoshida in Sanshu (Mikawa Province). In Keicho 5 (1600) he again followed his master to Himeji when Lord Ikeda became master of Himeji Castle. In the first year of Genna (1615) he came to Okayama Castle when Lord Ikeda was made governor of Bizen Province. The second master of this family was Iyetsugu (Haruta Chuzaemon). In the first year of Genna (1615) he came to Okayama with his father. His signature is Suruga or Bizen Suruga, with or without "saku". The third artist of the family was Muneiye (Haruta Chuzaemon). In Kanei 9 (1632) he went with Lord Ikeda to Tottori in Inaba Province.

As stated previously, Takatsugu did not sign his work. The reason for this may be found in his origin as a katchushi style artist. The second generation signed Bizen Suruga saku, Bizen Koku (no) ju Suruga, as well as Bizen Suruga. The third generation signed Inshu Suruga, or Inshu Suruga saku. The fourth, fifth and sixth generations signed Inshu Suruga. After the seventh generation it is common to find the personal name of the artist inscribed following the province and surname. The style of the school changed during the sixth generation. Takuiye introduced the style of the Ito school of Edo into his work. By the eigth generation the production of the school was almost wholly in Ito style.

A distinguishing characteristic of the tsuba of the Suruga school is the use of kuchi-beni. The Suruga kuchi-beni are semicircles of copper inlaid at the top and bottom of the nakago-ana flush with the surface of the plate. They were inlaid by the artist who made the tsuba and are not later additions, although their shape may have been altered later in mounting. Occasionally they have been removed entirely. The Suruga were not the only school to use this style of kuchi-beni. Some of the artists of the Akasaka, Hoan, and the kinko used a very similar style of inlay. Though the Suruga tsuba always have kuchi-beni their presence does not assure a piece being the work of this school.

by Iida Kazuo, Tokyo, 1981.


H 07066.0
"Momoyama/Early Edo Period. Mokko form with high raised mimi (the rim of this tsuba shows great cleverness and ability in its foundation, displaying every kind of tekkotsu), engraved with an overall design of scrolling foliage, probably Hagi plant, in kebori above two udenuki-ana. The ryohitsu plugged with thick gilt metal." (Long)


PROVENANCE:    Elliott Long NFS
A large shakudo plate in slight mokko shape, the four indentations almost unnoticable. The surface finish appears polished, much like the surface treatment created by Rakuju. Dr. Torigoye refers to this surface as 'crepe - silk' surface texture.

Description of legend soon.

8.40cm x 9.00cm x 0.25cm



PROVENANCE:    Elliott Long NFS
Very large, powerful Tosho tsuba, nicely forged and hammered with excellent patina and color. The hitsu-ana is original to the tsuba which was made prior to the Edo period.
Sukashi of two interlocking rings having a Buddhist symbolism meaning Unity of Strength and Love, Mind and Body. Very important to the Samurai.

7.9cm x 7.8cm x 0.40cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye
in 1970 on a lucky day in June


PROVENANCE:    Dr. Kazutaro Torigoye
                                            Elliott D. Long
An excellent round sukashi iron tsuba, the style being rich in its decorative quality. The design of fishing nets under flowers and clouds is naive yet very tasteful. The subject of this tsuba is applicable to the countryside, having a strong and bold quality. They are decorated with gold nunome inlay. Early Edo period.

8.0cm x 8.0cm x 0.25cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye
in 1964 on the 7th month, 17th day.


PROVENANCE:    Dr. Kazutaro Torigoye
                                            Robert E. Haynes
                                            Elliott D. Long
H 01803.0

"Iron plate of a deep purple black color of great richness. The oval plate formed as 42 petals of a chrysanthemum bloom, with a leaf of the plant folded over the left and right sides. The right leaf showing the face and the left leaf showing the backside. Of katana size (see below). It is interesting to note that this tsuba is very "heavy" and dense when compared to others of its size and form. It may contain meteoric iron.

It is signed on the face: 'JOSHU JU' (Hitachi Province) on the right side of the seppa-dai, and 'SAOTOME IESADA' on the left side.

The kozuka ana is filled with a shakudo plug." (Haynes)
"There was more than one Saotome Iesada (see H 01803.0). This would seem to be the work of the "first" master of that name, ca. 1550. There is a dated example signed by Iesada of Tensho 5, August, which is 1577. This example would seem to fly in the face of what I have said for the entry of this name, as this example IS signed and certainly is of the date mentioned above. All of this adds to the revival of our research concerning this artist." (Haynes)
8.2cm x 8.2cm x 0.4cm.

"This tsuba is contained in a box having a hako-gaki as follows: TSUBA, SIGNATURE, JOSHU JU SAOTOME IESADA, IRON PLATE, KIKU BLOOM SHAPE, MEASUREMENTS IN RIN AND BU, A TRUE WORK AS SIGNED, DATE OF SHOWA FOUR (1929), with RED SEAL AND SIGNATURE, SODO, and KAO, of a pre Edo period work. The Sodo name is very rare and seems to be one of the earliest art names used by Dr. Torigoye." (Haynes)

"This tsuba was a gift to Robert Haynes from Dr. Torigoye about fifty years ago." (Long)

'JOSHU JU' (Hitachi Province) right side, 'SAOTOME IESADA' left side


PROVENANCE:    Elliott Long NFS
A round iron sukashi tsuba with eight cherry flowers in positive sukashi. All flower petals are very well carved.

MEI: 'AKASAKA YOSHISUMI SAKU'. Of the Kogawa family working in Tokyo. Was a student of the second Unno Yoshimori.

6.80cm x 7.10cm x 0.50cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye in 1957


PROVENANCE:    Elliott Long NFS
Well hammered iron plate in 'nade mokko gata' shape. Nobuiye and other early tsuba makers used this shape which, when mounted on a sword, is even more striking in appearance than as a separate piece. Its gentle curved shape has a feminine quality, reminding some of 'otafuku' or of 'okame' shapes and such were consequently called by these terms. This shape was also called 'tate mokkogata' and 'nade mokkogata' in Edo.
The raised rim was formed by being beaten from both the outer circumference inward, and from the inside of the rim flange outward, known as 'uchikaeshi mimi'.
Mei: 'IWAI YOSHIMICHI' H 11831.0.
Made in the style of Nobuiye (H 07061.0) about ca. 1800.
Art name Seiryusai. Worked primarely in Edo.

8.60cm x 9.10cm x 0.25cm (seppa)
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


PROVENANCE:    Elliott Long NFS
A maru gata iron sukashi guard of five kiku flowers that are very well carved. Appearing on the rim is a scroll design done in very fine gold nunome.
MEI: 'UMETADA TACHIBANA SHIGEYOSHI'. This was the Shigeyoshi who was said to have taken the Umetada school from Kyoto to Edo.

7.70cm x 7.80cm x 0.40cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye in 1956


Mr. Matsuo (former student of Dr. Torigoye)
   Elliott D. Long
Iron plate in marugata shape, one hitsu-ana in suhama-gata filled with lead with sekigane. The sukashi design in positive silhouette of Daruma 'sitting in front of a wall'. The meaning of the upper left kanji is 'faith' (men) and the lower left kanji is 'wall' (heki). This depicts the Daruma as he sat silently wasting away in meditation.

Signed: 'TADATSUGU'. H 09190.0.

The delicate subject, careful finish and refined iron establishes this tsuba as a work of perfection.

7.86cm x 7.80cm x 0.44cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye in 1973


PROVENANCE:    Robert E. Haynes NFS
Write-up to follow.

Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


PROVENANCE:    Elliott D. Long NFS
"The iron bones of the edge are strong and natural. The surface is glossy black soft steel. The smooth surface is due to the high heat used in the forging. The quality of the iron is excellent. The shape is known as yatsu mokkogata (eight lobe shape). The design as ji-sukashi, is naive in a simple naturalistic style.
Dates to Momoyama period."

7.20cm x 7.10cm x 0.44cm (edge) to 0.52cm (seppa)
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


PROVENANCE:    Elliott D. Long NFS
An excellant, strongly forged iron ground Saotome tsuba with sukashi of two family mon design. Probably the prized tsuba of a very skilled samurai.

The Saotome school originates from the Myochin school, and were very skilled at producing superior iron and iron tsuba.

7.85cm x 7.52cm x 0.28cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


PROVENANCE:    Elliott D. Long NFS
"chrysanthemum-shaped iron plate, 8-lobe design, both hitsu-ana original and plugged with shakudo, Heianjo kiku flower, "

7.70cm x 7.20cm x 0.30cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


PROVENANCE:    Elliott D. Long NFS
"A thin iron plate with a low relief carving of warabi-te design. Kamakura tsuba were made from Late Muromachi to Edo period. They are usually thin iron ita-tsuba with uchikaeshi-mimi and mostly large dimensioned carvings. They bear similarities to Katchushi tsuba and Onin-tsuba. All of them are unsigned so there is no information about their makers; from an overall interpretation, it seems likely that they were made by craftsmen from the Katchushi group. They were quite popular. The name “Kamakura tsuba” derives from a type of engraving called Kamakura-bori (Kamakura carving), a Chinese engraving technique originally used on lacquerware, that by Muromachi period was being applied also to tea utensils, Zen-related implements and eventually to tsuba decorations. There exist both large and small examples of Kamakura tsuba: most of them are in round shape, but there are also examples in irregular kawari-gata or lobed-shape as seen here. In most cases the iron is not high quality (even though there are exceptions), they are thin ita tsuba with large-dimensioned pattern carved out in sukidashibori, often accentuated with kebori and the carvings are not very crisp. The seppadai is in almost all cases left raised in sukinokoshi manner, so is the rest of the motif, and thus it has the same height as the patterns. The rim area is slightly thinner than the seppadai and most Kamakura tsuba show a kaku-mimi ko niku in a raised sukinokoshi interpretation. They can come with or without hitsu-ana, one being subsequently opened here.
The warabi-te design is a style of ornamentation which features a curved design based on curling bracken shoots."

8.30cm x 8.24cm x 0.27cm
Comes with Hako-gaki by Dr. Torigoye


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