ANTIQUE JAPANESE TSUBA & FUCHI IN LEATHER CASE
Tsuba height: 2¾ inches / 7 cm
Tsuba width: 2½ inches / 6.3 cm
Stock number: GR6410/0120
The tsuba depicts a takarabune (Treasure Ship). During the first three days of the New Year the Seven Lucky Gods are said to pilot through the heavens and into human ports a mythical ship called the Takarabune, or “Treasure Ship”. The gods carry with them takaramono or treasure things, including the hat of invisibility, rolls of brocade, the inexhaustible purse, the secret keys to the treasure shed of the gods, the scrolls of books of wisdom and life, the magic mallet, the lucky raincoat, the robe of fairy feathers, and the bag of fortune. On this tsuba it seems there are three of the lucky gods – Ebisu (with his mallet), Benten and Bishamonten (standing with spear). The calligraphy on the sail simply says ’treasure’. In the sea is a minogame (long hairy tailed turtle) a symbol of longevity.
The subject on the fuchi is not related to the tsuba. It is a rowing boat moored up on the banks of a lake, with the paddle protruding. No doubt the kashira (pommel) would have had similar decoration.
Both items are in a fitted leather case.