Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Tsuba depicting a swimming crane

Glossary (3)

nunome-zōgan, shakudō, tsuba

  • nunome-zōgan

    Decorative application of metal sheeting (generally of gold or silver) where the iron ground is first cross-hatched and the metal burnished on.

  • shakudō

    alloy of copper and gold, patinated to a dark blue-black colour

  • tsuba

    Japanese sword guard.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The A.H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba) by Albert James Koop

    The A. H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba)

    Rounded oblong; modelled in soft low relief; on the front, waves with a swimming crane (in silver, gold and shakudō), also rocks and an overhanging pomegranate tree; at the back, clouds above and below, and an outlying branch of the tree; details in tinted gold nunome; ground punched with irregularly lobed compartments; sd. of fimbriated outline. Signed in fine gold wire inlay; Bishū (Owari province) Shigemasa [Japanese text] saku, and dated Bunkwa III (1806), 8th month.

    This is the only instance I know of a crane represented as swimming.

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