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Only Fittings: Japanese Sword Furniture from an Old English Collection

Only Fittings: Japanese Sword Furniture from an Old English Collection


Japanese utilitarianism is art in action. The tsuba was purely utilitarian; a simple, effective method of protecting the hand from the opponent's blade during a parry. From the earliest stages of development it became an independent branch of sword manufacture, embodying with its bold, simple designs and consummate craftsmanship aesthetic qualities which continue to impress and delight us today. This book examines how with the Japanese craftsman's intuitive sense of aesthetics and design the tsuba's utilitarian origins reached into the realms of fine art.


This collection, an extensive and comprehensive grouping of which this selection is only a small part, reflects to a great extent the taste of Victorian and Edwardian connoisseurs. Presented here is a cross-section, from the relatively early tsuba through a few Umeteda rarities to the finesse of the Goto masters, including a taste of the Hirata shipppo inlay and other unusual aspects of the metalworker's art, in a testimony to an age of collecting that we will never see again. The collection paints a picture of the Japanese tsubako, successfully representing both classic and everyday tsuba and fittings, work of the exacting levels demanded by the Daimyo and their samurai.

  • Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London

    80 pages, jacketed hardback

    294 x 219 mm, 119 colour illustrations

    ISBN: 978-962-7502-19-7

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