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"Tanaka" Yoshikage 義景 (c. 1850)

Certification: NTHK

Yoshikage was a student of Tanaka Kiyotoshi 田中清壽, and worked in Shiba in Edo. His works are mainly in the style of the Tanaka School. His family name is  Morikawa 森川, and he used the art names of Hoansai 宝庵斎, and Hoshinsai 宝真斎.

This iron tsuba exhibits the original, and much admired, red-brown patina this school was known for, as well as the rust these tsuba were prone to develop. As can be seen in the photos, there is no more rust on this tsuba today, then there was when this tsuba was photographed for "The Naunton Collection" catalogue, around 1912, shortly after this tsuba was made. At that time this tsuba was only 50 or 60 years old. Much of this rust can be reduced, leaving a much nicer look, as seen on the top quarter of the back view.

The iron plate has a waxy, slightly irregular, surface and looks like stone or leather. Much of the gold on the tree and branches is applied very thickly using nunome, with few hints visible as to the method used.

This subject was very popular among the rich merchants of Edo, in the late Edo period. A very similar treatment of this theme was done by Natsuo.

Photo by Jack Edick (c) 2010
Photo by Jack Edick (c) 2010