This is a truly extraordinary and huge iron ko-katchushi tsuba from the Muromachi era of the late 15th to early 16thcentury. The term, katchushi tsuba, means that it is a tsuba that was made by an armor smith who also made tsuba. The shape of this tsuba is comprised of three concentric circles of surrounding the center nakago ana. The outer circle is carved to resemble four lobes in a mokko pattern with an inome (boar’s eye) at the intersection of each of the four lobes. The next circle is more round and carved to resemble a single piece of iron. The center section is carved in a more traditional mokko shape containing the nakago ana and two small hitsu ana for a kogai and kozuka. Please understand that while this tsuba looks like it was carved out of several pieces of iron, it was, in fact made from a single piece of iron that was expertly carved and decorated with tiny punch marks making a pleasing design on both sides.
This tsuba is very large and measures a full 4 inches or 10.2 cm round. It is a very heavy tsuba with a thickness of 0.22 inches or 0.55 cm. The fact that this tsuba is of this thickness means that it is from the period mentioned because ko-katchushi tsuba from the Nanbokuchô era would be thinner.
The patina on this tsuba is very dark and rich showing that it has enjoyed loving care for many hundreds of years. There is no rust or pitting anywhere on this tsuba. As evidence of this fact plus as an indication of its quality, it was awarded NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers in 2014. It comes in a custom made fitted wooden box. This tsuba is a collection in of itself.