This small, flat metal piece has a quartrefoil shape. Two holes in the middle. Flame-like incision all over the piece. Silver is applied around the center hole.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kozuka, an ornamental stick. This particlar tsuba has incised, overall frame design.
The sword is long and slightly curved; the handle cover is wrapped with black cords, mostly worn out. The round tsuba (sword guard) is made of steel and has two holes. The scabbard is painted with lacquer and has a string for hanging. There is a pair of lion-shaped menuki (fitting) on the handle.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost.
This small, flat piece made of light brown brass (called "sentoku" in Japanese) has a round diamond shape. It has a triangular shaped hole in the center and another round hole on one side. Artist’s name is signed between the two holes. The surface is slightly concaved from the rim. The front has relief design of a shrimp, blowfish, and bamboo branch. On the back, there are designs of a spiral shell, a barnacle, and water drops. The sea motifs are inlayed with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy).
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert an ornamental stick called kozuka. This particlar tsuba has a sea-related theme of shrimp and blowfish.
Circular tsuba, made of iron. It has two holes in the middle. Two figures, Kanzan and Jittoku, are carved on the lower right corner. Kanzan, who holds a scroll on his hand, and Jittoku, who holds a bloom stick and pointing to the sky, are looking upward. The two figures are carved slightly higher than the surface. On the back, there is the moon partially obscured by clouds. Gold and silver alloy inlays are applied to the moon and the clouds. Gold is also inlayed in their eyes, parts of the garments, and Kanzan's scroll. Shakudô (copper-gold alloy) is inlayed in Jittoku's bloom and his jacket collars.
Kanzan and Jittoku are Taoist eccentrics of whom little is known, but they are frequently represented (almost always together) in East Asian arts. Both lived in the monastery of Kuo Ching, spending most of their time in the kitchen, and speaking a gibberish unintelligible to anyone, resenting visitors, and noticing them only with insults. Kanzan holds a scroll, which he expounds to Jittoku, who stands by leaning on his broom. Both have a dwarfed and somewhat boyish appearance, but Kanzan's face is furrowed by age. (Reference: Edmunds, Will H. Pointers and Clues to the Subjects of Chinese and Japanese Art).
Goldweight in the shape of a knife with a curved, rounded tip.
A broad variety of weaponry is represented as goldweights, including shields, swords, guns, cannons, daggers, and especially knives-- such as in this example. At the time when the Akan-speaking brass casters (from what are now Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire) represented these weapons as weights, many of them were no longer actually used for hunting or fighting, but survived only as ceremonial regalia. Weights representing military and royal items are part of a larger trend towards representational weights in the 18th and 19th century; previously, brass casters had primarily produced geometric weights, and geometric weights continued to outnumber representational forms throughout the history of their production.
Goldweight in the shape of a knife, with a short handle set between two protrusions, giving way to a longer blade.
Among the Akan-speaking peoples of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, gold dust was used as a form of currency until the end of the 19th century, and merchants used diverse kinds of weights to weigh out measures of gold dust. Among these gold weights, the representation of all kinds of weaponry is very common, especially knives, such as in this example. Knives were originally used as weapons and as instruments of the executioner, and were also frequently worn on cartridge belts. However, by the time knives and other weaponry became frequent forms for gold weights, they were no longer in active use for fighting or war activities.
Golden lion with gently curving tail and arched back. Each foot is capped with three intimidating claw-like nails. The lion is oriented as if stalking from left to right, but the head turns back inward towards the center, with a downward flowing mane.
Lion scabbard ornament attached to the handle of the sword (1973/2.87).
This tsuba is a flat iron plate with quatrefoil design. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by oval-shape hole (for kougai) and oval with bump shape (for kozuka). Egrets and reeds decorate the surface, distributed in a curve that climbs counter-clockwise from the bottom left register, culmiating in the top left with a lone egret in flight. Egrets on the bottom of the piece perch on the ground or nest in the golden reeds.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. A smaller hole on the left is to place an ornamental stick, kozuka. Another hole on the right is to insert kougai, spatula-like sticks which are said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets.
A haloed man kneels in three-quarter profile in the left center of the foreground of the composition. A male figure stands behind the haloed figure in a wide stance with an ax raised above the kneeling figure's head. In the background is another male figure wearing a pointed hat and a jester or demonic figure shown falling of a column in the distance in the upper left.
A haloed man is attached to a plank in the foreground of the composition. A male figure positioned behind him holds a knife to his knee while a male figure in front of him holds a knife to his wrist. A figure dressed like a church father stands watching over the scene on the right.
The sword is long and slightly curved; the metal smith's name is engraved on the metal handle. The scabbard is painted with black laquer with image of samurai and cherry tree. He wears a jacket, pants, a straw hat and a sword, holding a brush, possibly writing a poem on a piece of paper hanging from the tree. The figure and tree are painted with rose-color and gold laquer.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost. The samurai in the laquered scabbard engages in a traditional literal activity, versing a poem in promptu. The combination of samurai and the literal practice may suggest the way of samurai" (bushidô) ideal: "exel in both civil and military pursuits" (bunbu ryôdô).