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"Large slight oval iron plate with brass inlay of ----. This is the classic style of early Heianjo suemon zogan tsuba. Both the plate and the inlay have their original patina.
Heianjo tsuba are considered to have developed from the Onin work in the early 1500s. They are normally of the suemon type, but the inlay is cut out from sheet metal rather than cast in a mold. Any surface detail on the brass is carved in as seen here. This can be considered decorated Katchushi, although the plate tends to be of softer iron, perhaps to make the inlay process easier.
The iron is very good, the overall conception is inventive yet subdued and elegant and the brass is well inlaid and carved.

Production of Heianjo and Onin styles went on in parallel for some time before the Onin school died out. Some pieces are seen with a combination of cast and cut brass on the same plate. I am not convinced that there is any real distinction between the "school" of Onin makers and the "school" of Heianjo tsubako. I believe that we are using these names as a convenient way to classify the work of professional tsuba makers according to various categories of style and age." (Long)
8.60cm x 8.00cm x 0.50cm (seppa)

"Since tradition decrees that brass was first imported from China in the Eikyo era (1429-1441), it is natural that it should be employed in the decoration of tsuba shortly thereafter. It was both new and novel, and because of its great monetary value was regarded as rich and valuable material for the enrichment of tsuba. Its great popularity exceeded that of nearly all previous styles." (Long & Haynes)

Accompanied with a Hakogaki by Sato Kanzan. (see below).

How to Purchase this Tsuba

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

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