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About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
A fierce hawk forms the body of this tsuba, or Japanese sword guard. Two chrysanthemums and a pair of sparrows decorate the tsuba’s side. Hawks and other birds of prey symbolized military might for the Japanese samurai class. The hole in the center is made for the sword blade. The round hole to the left of center would have been used to store smaller tools for the fighter to use, including small daggers. This tsuba is made of shibuichi, a Japanese alloy made of one part silver to three parts copper. It is from the Meiji period.

Walters Art Museum Object Description

This tsuba is made in the shape of a hawk. Its head is at the upper right. At the bottom edge, it clutches chrysanthemums in its talons. At the upper left, two sparrows fly near the hawk's left wing. This design of this tsuba is almost identical to another tsuba in the collection, Walters 51.390, except for the gilding and the style of the signature.

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