A man is shown riding a horse, with a sword tucked into his belt. He is wearing a simple-styled premodern garment and a cap. Both the man and the horse seem tired, with their bodies bending forward and heads drooping.
Tsuba (Sword guard) with inlaid design of egrets and reeds(attached to 1973/2.88)
Artist Unknown, Japan
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.
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.
The four-armed Durga sits on a stylized crouching lion with her right leg pendant and the left one across her body. Her front right hand extends down with palm outwards in a boon giving gesture while the back right hand holds a sword. Her left font hand holds a fruit or flower bud while her back left hand holds a shield. The whole is simply carved with rather subdued jewelry, but she does wear necklaces, bracelets, armlets and loose anklets as well as large circular earrings and a diadem across her forehead. Her hair is arranged behind the diadem. The stele is subtly pointed and its only decoration is a band along the outside, although a throne is suggested at her knees. A highly stylized lotus supports her right foot at the base.
Menuki (sword scabbard ornament): dragon (attached to 1973/2.87)
Artist Unknown, Japan
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.
Sword (original) and later handle, sword guard, and scabbard
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.
Tsuba (sword guard) with design of blowfish, shrimp and plant
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).
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
brass with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy) inlays