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Japanese sword guard (tsuba)

A tetsu, nademaru gata, kaku mimi tsuba with a takabori design of gourds. It has a gold ito zogan, thread inlay, of the dead stalks of the gourds and surface decoration of the gourds themselves. It has only a nakago ana which has tagane ato and a ko-zuka hitsu ana. The gourd design is not one favoured by Samurai usually because of its lowly status. However the mythology surrounding Toyotomi Hideyo…