T497. Signed Nobuiye Tsuba with Tokubetsu Hozon Paper
T497. Iron tsuba with water wheel and tortoise shell design. 8.4 x 8.6 x .4 cm at the slightly raised rim. The nakago hitsu-ana is .8 x 2.6 cm. Both ryo-hitsu are plugged with gold lined, high quality shakudo. Signed Nobuiye. I know there are a million signed Nobuiye tsuba and nearly a million of them are copies or school work. This one is the real deal.
This tsuba comes in a specially fitted box with hako-gake, which is itself fitted inside a lacquered box with paper labels. I’m including a picture of a translation of the boxes that I received from a well respected Japanese collector. This comes also with a Tokubetsu Hozon paper from the NBTHK, stating Mei Nobuiye and dated 2018.
There are a few tsuba smiths who were as important and well known as Nobuiye but none were more so. He is among the very few who were the first to sign their work. His active period is thought to be late Muromachi into early Momoyama (500 and some years ago). He was once thought to have been an armor maker who made the jump to kodogu but current thought is that he was exclusively a fittings artist who originated in Owari. To my knowledge, not much more is known about the man.
Condition is perfect, not a mark to mention; this, obviously, has been treasured from the day it was made. My pictures, by the way, were taken in natural light and do a good job of an honest display. It has been pointed out to me that there appear to be delaminations in the edge of this tsuba. These are not delaminations; rather evidence of folding intentionally left visible. They ocur pretty much all round the plate. Nuff said; the tsuba speaks for itself. Price available on request (serious inquiries only, please).