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"Mokko shape well forged iron plate tsuba with a uchikaeshi mimi and is an excellent example of the combination of the famous kebori tortise-shell design and sakura blossom within each, known as "Kikko Mon", tekkotsu and yakite shitate surface finish that the early Nobuiye artisans are renowned for. Both hitsu-ana and udenuki-ana are original. A black-brown patina is present and untouched.

Mei: 'NOBUIYE'. This tsuba has the thin hosoji-mei that often gives one the feeling of inner strength and power. This style of mei is associated with the tsubako called the shodai Nobuiye but this is an unknown maker. It should be noted that the date of this Nobuiye is 1750 to 1800.

A testudinal pattern ("Kikko-mon") is the hexagonal pattern that is made up of family crestsin the shape and pattern of a tortoise shell. This pattern is commonly found in Japanese textiles in the Nara period, and as a geometric pattern for various items in many other countries since ancient times. Tortoises have been highly regarded, not only as a symbol of longevity, but also as one of the symbols, the Black Tortoise of the North ("Genbu"), of the Chinese Constellations. The Testudinal pattern was given preferencial treatment in family crests in Japan." (Long)
8.50cm x 9.20cm x 0.20cm @ nakago-ana

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A Collaboration of Robert E. Haynes and Elliott D. Long

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