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Provenance:   Robert E. Haynes;
            Elliott D. Long

"An exceptionally well made iron mokume tsuba signed and dated by 'Myochin Munesuke', the 24th mainline master of the most prestigious school in Japan. He is considered the foremost Myochin armorer during the Edo Period. Munesuke has a very long and prolific working period (ca.1680-1730), and is known by two art names: 'SHIKIBU' and 'OSUMI no KAMI'. Late in life, he started listing his working age on pieces, and examples are known from his 76th - 82nd years.

The maru-gata tsuba is very thick and heavy for its size. The forging pattern is robust and conspicuous. The mokume grain does not visually dominate the piece, and the patina is even and rich. The grain is visable because of the variance in metal composition between the folds, not through chemical accentuation - it is a testament to the forging skills of Munesuke. On each face, several mokume islands are surrounded by gently undulating fold lines, giving the impression of raked Zen gardens. The fold lines do not continue through the rounded rim, manifesting as linear irregularities - the rim is smooth and gently rounded. This is not a simple folded iron guard, it is very much an art piece, well thought-out and aesthetically balanced.
The tsuba is signed with an unusual phrase: 'Shinto Gotetsu-Ren'. Research by Markus Sesko suggests this may refer to the use of iron from recycled Buddhist iron begging bowls (gotetsu-bachi)." (Long & Markhasin)

7.60cm x 7.50cm x 0.55cm.

Inquiries Only:
please send Elliott and Robert an E-MAIL
( elliott@shibuiswords.com ).

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

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