Q242. Carved Tsuba Covered in Gold


Q242.  Tsuba covered in gold.  7.1 x 7.5 x .4 cm.  The nakago hitsu-ana is .7 x 2.7 cm.  I’m not sure what the base metal is here; it’s heavy enough to be iron but a magnet doesn’t stick.  No question what the show metal is, though: Gold.  I’m guessing mercury gilding, covering the surfaces except for in the recessed carving and the entire rim also.  Skip Holbrook once told me that only a wealthy person could have owned this when it was made; it is an expensive process.  The theme is shishi and plants.  There are some small dents that don’t belong and some of the gold is missing on the rim.  Quite impressive.  $245.