Description Dragons are symbols of power and regularly depicted in Japanese art. They are associated with the sky and water, so they are often shown with clouds. In this tsuba, the dragon's head and a front claw are at the top of the tsuba. Most of its body is in clouds and the tail reemerges at the bottom. On the reverse, one of the lower legs of dragon emerges from clouds. Both secondary holes in the tsuba have been plugged.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition uknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Date] Tempo kinoe tatsu shûjitsu/sei; [Place] Yôshû jû; [Signature] Sasayama Tokuoki; [Translation] Made in the autumn, year of the dragon, Tempo era (1844); [Translation] Residing in Yôshû/Sasayama Tokuoki; [Seal]
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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