Ko Shōami ji sukashi tsuba 古正阿弥地透鍔 that would date to the Azuchi-Momoyama jidai (安土桃山時 代). The iron is an excellent rick dark colour verging on black. The surface is well worked and displays tsuchime (槌目 a hammered surface) all over the plate. There are many small tekkotsu (鉄骨 hard iron bones) in the mimi (耳 edge). Kebori (毛彫) or fine lines are carved into the surface, The tsuba is finished in Maru Gata (撫角形 round shape) and there is a single hitsu-ana (片櫃仕立 – Kata-hitsu shitate) for a kozuka.
The design is described by the NBTHK as Kiri ni boke hana sukashi tsuba 桐に木瓜花透鍔 or paulownia leaves and boke (Chaenomeles Speciosa or Japanese quince) flowers. The design of the boke has been represented in the form of the kamon (家紋）. There are many kamon with this quince/mokko theme but I am unsure if this points directly to a specific family or of it is just part of the design and not related to a family at all. I feel it does appear a little specific in it’s shape and design to not be a family crest though. There is a lot of movement and balance in this design. The combination of the solid section of paulownia leaves and the very fine sukashi of the boke is very pleasing.
The dimensions are 8cm x 7.97cm x 3.8mm (centre) and 4 – 4.5mm (mimi).
This tsuba was also published in the book, Shumi no Tsuba – Go-hyaku Sugata by Nakamura Tessei (趣味の 鍔五百姿 中村鐡青) and was listed in the Akasaka section as a work by the Nidai master Tadamasa. The NBTHK have designated this work though as Ko Shōami.
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