Nihonto.com is very pleased to present this fine example of an iron tsuba by the Denbei tsubako of the Akita area of Dewa Province. This group of smiths was represented by such notables as Shigeyoshi (重吉), Yoshinaga (吉長), and Kiyonari (清成). This particular example is signed 出羽秋田住小阿弥傅七 which is read Dewa Akita Jyû Shôami Denshichi. The term “Denshichi” is commonly called Denbei.
There were several generations of smiths of the Akita Shônai Shôami school as noted above. They often signed with just Denbei alone together with the school name as used in this example. Occasionally we find them using their personal names such as the ones listed above. They worked around 1650-1700 for the most part and produced some very fine examples.
A very similar example to the subject tsuba offered for sale here, rests in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It is strikingly close to this example and it can be found on the following page, Denbei.
The tsuba being offered here is a wonderful example of the exquisite carving of iron done be the talented smiths of this school. The broken and distressed pieces of bamboo of the lattice design show such vibrancy and life that you are mesmerized by its quality.
This tsuba measures 2 7/8 inches round. It is a thick tsuba with a width of .26 inches. It has a smooth and perfect patina with no roughness or rust present. It comes with NBTHK Tokubestu Hozon papers attesting to its validity and quality.