Owari ji sukashi tsuba 尾張地透鍔. I believe this tsuba would date to either the Azuchi-Momoyama or at the latest, the early Edo period (安土桃山時代と江戸初期時代). The iron is an excellent dark colour verging on black with rich purple under tones. The surface is very well worked and displays strong tsuchime (槌目 hammered surface) all over the plate. There are traces of tekkotsu (鉄骨 hard iron bones) in the mimi 耳. The tsuba is finished in Nadekaku Gata (撫角形) and Ryohitsu Shitate (両櫃仕立). It exhibits an even thickness.
Tekkotsu, or iron bones (high carbon content metal showing as smooth lumps in the rim) were most prominent in Owari sukashi tsuba during the Muromachi period. As the Azuchi-Momoyama approached, they became smaller and less common. By the Edo period they had all but disappeared.
The design is Shihou Matsuba no Zu 四方松葉図 or Pine needles shown in 4 directions. This is very typical of Owari design, being strong and bold with symmetry and movement. There appears to be in this design, four pine needles, split and curved and arranged in a circular design. The seppa dai is a very nice shape, having a large oval katachi as classic Owari should. This tsuba exhibits all the classic Owari school traits. The kogai hitsu is slightly elongated and give the feeling of pre Edo.
NBTHK Hozon – 日本美術刀剣保存協会の保存刀装具鑑定書.
The dimensions are 81mm x 77mm x 5.4mm.
This is a very nice and very powerful tsuba. I hope you enjoy it.