T517. Iron Tsuba with Elephant & Monkey
T517. Iron tsuba with copper, silver, shakudo, and possibly gold inlay. 7.7 x 8.5 x .45 cm at the slightly raised rim. The nakago hitsu-ana is .7 x 2.7 cm. Pretty sure this is a monkey, riding on the back of an elephant; must be a story here. Given how scarce elephants must have been in Edo era Japan, it is a bit surprising that they show up on kodogu even as infrequently as they do. I think the stick with a hook on the back side is an elephant goad, called ankus in India.
Silver on the monkey’s face and the elephant’s tusk has been rubbd and a former owner may have waxed the plate (easily removed if it bothers you); otherwise condition is excellent. $285.