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"Iron plate with brass, copper, silver, and possibly gold inlay. A well worked surface with ample tekkotsu on the rim, great detail on the inlay which is far more complex than usually seen of the Nara school.

Ko-Nara tsuba, also called old Nara or early Nara tsuba, were a style of decorated iron plate tsuba popular from the Momoyama period through the mid Edo period. This group produced tsuba with kinko (soft metal) Goto style inlay on iron plates, some of which may have been produced by other tsubako - possibly Saotome makers. The first Nara master, Toshiteru, is believed to have studied under the Goto school and applied the Goto kinko techniques to iron plate tsuba. The Ko-Nara group are those makers working before approximately 1700 who preceeded the fourth Nara Master, Toshinaga. While this type of tsuba is called Ko-Nara, they were made by a variety of different makers, some only distantly related to the Nara school.

In general, Nara kinko work is characterised by the depiction of a wide-ranging variety of themes, variously interpreted and often featuring exquisite iroye of the soft metals. While beautifully rendered, these never appear flashy or contrived, and give the impression of quiet, good taste. This is a good example of the original Ko-nara style showing iroye incrustation of the soft metals on iron ground in a realistic design taken from nature." (Long)
6.7cm x 7.0cm x 0.55cm


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