HUGH SAOTOME SCHOOL TSUBA
This is a fantastic Kiku sukashi Saotome o-tsuba from the end of the Muromachi period (circa 1550). This is a very large tsuba that was awarded NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers in 1999 attributing it to Saotome. The earliest Saotome were armor makers in the Koto period. Signed early tsuba assigned to this period are very few. When we find large sukashi tsuba of this school with the kiku (chrysanthemum) design, most often upon close inspection we find that the individual ribs have been added by brazing them in with brass. This tsuba is exceedingly rare in that all of the individual ribs have been carved out of the solid forged iron plate. It is just unbelievable to think of the work and skill that went into making this tsuba. This tsuba measures 4.5 inches or 11.5 cm by 4.375 inches or 11.2 cm. It is .375 inches wide or 0.9 cm. There is a slight cupping one approaches the seppa dai. It comes in a custom made fitted wooden box. This tsuba has a feeling of great strength. A real masterpiece. A similar but very inferior tsuba sold in Christies in 2008 for $12,500.00.
Questions or feedback? Email me!