"Tsuba: with openwork showing a single bar and bracken shoots.
mumei (unsigned): Kanayama
Size: 7.2 cm x 7.1 cm
Thickness at rim: 0.5 cm
Weight: 100 gr
Period: end of Muromachi
with N.B.T.H.K. Hozon certification
In Kiri box
Here we have a very nice and in good conditions old Tsuba with round shape, made of iron with hammerblow finish, large-scale openwork design, angular rim that is a little roundish, two openings for scabbard accessories.
The earliest extant sukashi-tsuba are generally classified into four schoos: Ko-Shōami, Hejanjō-sukashi, Owari-sukashi and Kanayama. Finding the roots of Kanayama-tsuba is quite a difficult task, especially because there are virtually no records on early tsuba craftsmen, the tankō, extant. One of the first to deal with them in a little more detail was the mid-Edo scholar and military strategist Matsumiya Kanzan (1686-1780) in his publication ‘Tōban Shōkan Kōketsu. Matsumiya refers to Kanayama-tsuba as Kanayama-te.
Kanayama-tsuba look quite old and certain Edo-period publications mentioned that they already looked several hundred years old back then. The tekkotsu on a kaku-mimi ko-niku are probably the most typical characteristic of Kanayama-tsuba, and they have peculiar features which are actually not so hard to understand. They are rather small,as has been said since oldest times, but there are also some larger dimensioned pieces among them. Almost all are in maru-gata but there exist also some in kaku-gata and some later works might tend a bit to tatemaru gata. There appear lump-shaped or granular tekkotsu along the rim. The patina on the iron has a blackish-purple color, some later pieces might also show a slightly reddish patina. The hira-ji is always irregular, most likely due to their yakite finish. Most motifs are abstract and there are some extant whose motif is unknown to us even today."