Tsuba:(NBTHK Hozon Paper)
Mei (signature) : Masashige(Kao)
Length : 7.17cm x 6.86cm ( 2.82inches x 2.7inches)
Thickness of rim: 0.38cm ( 0.15 inches)
Jidai(era) :Late Edo Period
Special feature: Tatemaru shape smooth iron tsuba with Shoki (traditional Chinese deity that is said to block plague and evil) design engraved and inlaid with gold, silver and copper. Masashige is a metal smith of Nara school. His real name is Shintaro. He was a student of Masachika and has made high relief engraving fuchikashira and tsuba with inlay.
This tsuba seems to show the scene of Shoki catching the demon.
The motif is popular as a talisman to protect one from evil.
Both the iron plate texture and engraving is very good.
NBTHK Hozon Paper
AOI estimation paper
In Kiri box.