M238. Iron Sukashi Tsuba with Extensive Inlay, Kenjo
M238. Elaborate iron sukashi tsuba with inlay, maybe Kenjo. 7.9 x 7.9 x .5 cm on the raised rim. The nakago hitsu-ana is .9 x 2.4 cm. Kenjo tsuba were made very fancy in late Edo to be used as gifts for high ranking government officials or important business people. I can’t guarantee that this is a Kenjo but it sure fits the bill. Stems, flowers, and leaves in copper, silver, and a lot of gold. The raised rim was originally covered, both sides and edge, in gold filigree; most of the edge has lost its gold and the sides retain about 50%. The inlay on the plate is nearly intact. Quite a fine piece. $775.
Someone has kindly sent the following. There was an almost identical tsuba in the Carlo Minzino Collection sale at Sotheby’s in 1996. They called it a Kiami iron tsuba and it sold for $1,265. My price is still $775.