Iron daisho tsuba set decorated with deers, maple tree, waterfall and pine. It is signed "Hikone Ju Nyudo Soten Sei" however it is not Soten style tsuba.
In Japanese culture maple trees shown together with deers has few meanings.
They can refer to arrival of autumn, or more specifically Japanese aristocracy tradition of viewing seasonal changes of nature in Nara.
"Maple trees and deers" is used to express idea of good pairing, as both represent arrival of autumn. I do not know If this meaning existed in Edo period, however it would suit a daisho set very well.
Set made of iron with nunome zogan inlay. To make the picture artist used two alloys of gold and copper. It is very rare to see copper applied with nunome zogan technique, unless it is a base for gilding. In this case it was used to stand on its own, and in my opinion it looks very good, as it beautifully blends in too the background.
Made in Edo period.
Dai: 86 mm x 81 mm x 5,2 mm
Sho: 80 mm x 76 mm x 5 mm