Chikugo Ichijo Tsuba
A beautiful Tsuba by Chikugo Ichijo, student of Chikugo Ichirin and Goto Ichijo. Born as Kawashima Sosuke, he became the apprentice of Chikugo Ichirin at the age of 20 and continued to work in this workship until his early thirties. He then was sent to Kyoto (most likely around 1862 as goto ichijo then returned to kyoto) by recommendation of his lord Arima Yorishige and studied under the great master Goto Ichijo until 1867. He then returned to Chikugo, changing his name to Ichijo (一如). He married the daughter of his former teacher Ichirin and taught the biological son of Ichirin, Chikugo Isshun. He died in september 1897 at the age of 72.
This piece shows clear influence of Goto Ichijo and his school, also bearing his new signature Ichijo (一如), thus being done after his time in Kyoto. The Tsuba is made from an iron plate, a material introduced as a novelty to Goto work by the Ichijo ha. The inlay technique of the rising sun is finely executed and greatly resembles the sun rays sparkling in the rising sun at the horizon. We are in an early morning scene, the sky is burning in deep orange, the sun rises behind the ocean's horizon, not yet shedding light on the dark japanese pines growing at the cliff on which the observer of this scenery stands. The pines, while rustical on first sight, are finely carved, expressing detailed manipulation of the chiseled surface, emulating bark and irregularities. Also, different use of chisel width and strength unreavel pine cones between the needles, easily overseen at first sight. The piece is skillfully executed with an elegent and decent design based on simplicity.
The piece comes in a high quality custom fitted box and is attested with Tokubetsu Hozon papers.
I will do futher research on this piece and the artist itself, updating this page by times.
The piece is signed Ichijo (Kao)
Below further shots of this very dignified piece with the deep spiritual atmosphere seen in quality late edo pieces.
Below the finely carved details of the bark and pine cones hidden between the needles. All of which reached with skillful surface manipulation.