Setsusan (雪山)was one of the art names used by the fittings maker Ichinomiya Nagatsune (一宮長). Nagatsune was a native of Echizen Province and was born in 1722.  He passed away on December 18, 1787.  He lived and worked in Kyôto for most of his working career and is regarded as one of the top fittings makers of his time.  He was the student of Yasui Takanaga (保井高長)and he also studied painting under Ishida Yûtei (石田幽汀)(1721-1786).

In 1770 he received the title of Echizen no Daijo and later he received the title of Echizen no Kami and was also allowed the use of the Minamoto name.  He had a large number of students and followers.  Most people are not aware that Nagatsune was so important that he had a profound effect on the work of the most famous fittings maker of the later part of the Edo era, Kano Natsuo.  Natsuo looked to Nagatsune as a mentor and he studied his sketchbook to the extent that he published is as part of his own sketchbook and catalog.  True praise, indeed.

This tsuba is priced where it is because I cannot absolutely guarantee that it is, indeed, by Nagatsune using his art name.  There is no doubt that it was really made by a smith named Setsuzan otherwise the NBTHK would not have issued the Hozon papers for it.  If there is the slightest chance that it was made by another tsuba maker named Setsuzan, my listing price reflects this possibility.  If it is later proved to be a genuine Nagatsune tsuba made by him using his art name Setsuzan, the new owner will have a great find.

There is no doubt that it is a beautiful yet simple design and of top quality.  This tsuba will stand on its own merits and is priced accordingly.

This tsuba measures 3.10 inches or 7.89 cm by 2.75 inches or 7.01 cm.  The thickness at the rim is 0.26 inches or 0.68 cm.  As noted it dates to the latter half of the 18th century in the heart of the latter Edô period.  The shape is mokko and it has a well carved dote-mimi (raised rim).

As noted, this tsuba comes with NBTHK Hozon Kodogu papers.  It comes out of a Japanese collection where it is not uncommon for owners to apply for only Hozon papers and not to attempt to acquire higher papers.  The sole purpose of obtaining Hozon papers is to have the validity of the signature verified by the NBTHK.

This is a very attractive and simplistic yet beautiful piece and it would enhance any collection.  The condition is excellent.