sentoku presentation tsuba - ShunJyu Ken/Tsune Tamo - Late 19th century
A mysterious sentoku presentation tsuba of rectangular form with rounded corners, its detailing in copper, gilt and silver. Under a tasseled curtain, in high relief, a kimono-clad macaque walks a tight rope, a persimmon branch over his shoulder. Below him, also in relief, a well-chased and chiseled macaque leaning against a priest’s staff, eats a persimmon. Gilt-inlaid persimmon branches and symbols are scattered over the surface of this fantasied scene, the reverse covered with a gnarled tree laden with the fruit and its foliage. This curious tsuba – could it refer to the “Crab & The Monkey” legend? - definitely a collector’s item, has a beautifully-incised description and artist signature: ShunJyu Ken/Tsune Tamo. Height, 3.5"; width, 3.25". Late 19th century.