Q608. Hazama Tsuba Papered & Signed Teiei


Q608. Iron tsuba with sahari inlay, signed Teiei. 7.5 x 7.6 x ,3 cm at the rim (.4 cm at the seppa-dai). The nakago hitsu-ana is .9 x 2.5 cm. Sahari is an alloy of copper, tin, zinc, & lead. After the alloy had hardened it was powdered and set in carved recesses in the tsuba’s surface. Heat was applied, causing the powder to melt. Once rehardened, the surface was ground flat. Air bubbles in the powder leave tiny pits in the surface; if the sahari doesn’t have the pits it isn’t true sahari. Dark spots inside the sahari surface are pieces of the iron ground that were left proud in the carved resesses, so they would appear once the inlay was flattened.

This whole process demands great skill. The Hazama tsuba smiths were the masters of sahari and Teiei (Sadaiye), circa 1700, was the best of the group. This tsuba comes in a fitted box with pillow, with a label that reads Tsuba Teiei Raimon (lightning). Teiei is an important name in kodogu and forged signatures are always a possibility. I sent this to the NBTHK in Tokyo and received a Hozon paper dated Renwa 4 (2022) giving it to Raimon Tsuitate Tsuba Mei Teiei. About this paper. I have little doubt the tsuba could have achieved Tokubetsu Hozon level but I needed only confirmation of the signature and requested Hozon paper only.

Condition is pristine, like the day it was made. A classic example of work from a master smith; I am quite pleased to be able to offer this piece on my site. Was $4,495, now $3,950.