Ko Gotô mumei kozuka from the Momoyama period 後藤 無銘 小柄 桃山時代. Fude 筆 (Brush) theme. Shakudo nanako-ji, takabori, Kin Gin iroe 赤銅 魚子地, 高彫 金銀色絵. This is a wonderful Kozuka with a very elegant design. The nanako ji is neat and sharp and the condition of both the gold and silver iroe is excellent. The kozuka has been constructed with a joint known as Katate Urabari 片手裏張り. The body of the kozuka is formed from a single sheet of shakudo which is folded into shape and soldered closed. This method is common in older Gotô works. (see photo). The piece is in remarkable condition, especially considering its age of over 400 years.
I believe this to be the work of the 5th Gotô master Tokujô 後藤徳乗. There are several similar kozuka with the same theme published in various books and he seems to be almost the only Gotô artist to work with this theme. There is one published in both 刀装小道具講座 – Toso Kodogu Koza and 後藤家十七代 – Gotô-ke Jushichi-dai, both of which are attributed to Gotô Tokujô 後藤徳乗. As this is dated to the Momoyama period and directly to Gotô (not Waki Gotô or Kaga Gotô), it is more likely the work of either Tokujou or at an outside chance, the 4th master Koujou.
The theme is Fude no Zugara 筆図の図柄, or a calligraphy brush. The brush is finished in both gold and silver iroe. The handle is finished in gold iroe, and the brush is in silver, the tip being exposed showing shakudo, giving the impression of a little ink on the tip.
Length 95mm width 10.2mm.
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