This is a very unusual item. It is a tsuka from a wakizashi that dates to the Kotô era. It is very rare to find items such as this. I believe that it very possibly dates all the way back to the Nanbokuchô era or possibly the beginning of the Muromachi era. In the past I thought it was later, but upon further study and consulting with Mr. Bob Haynes, we decided that it is very likely of significantly more age than we believed originally. The fuchi looks to be and old kogai that has been re-purposed and made into the fuchi. it is very deeply carved as one finds on early Ko-Mino style pieces. The kashira is made by adding a design of mixed metals to a suaka plate. It is very rustic. The menuki are delicate filigree flowers and tendrils. In place of same are two gilded metal plates. The ito is made of thin strips of leather that have been lacquered. This piece as a whole has a very strong and sturdy feel and appearance. It was probably mounted on the sword of a mid-level Samurai who was interested in functionality rather than glamor.
It is in exceptional condition and comes with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers. It is also housed in a custom made fitted wooden box. I do not think you will see another piece of this quality, age, and condition again soon.