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

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

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Tsuba with characters and flowers

Glossary (2)

nunome-zōgan, 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.

  • 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)

    Pierced in negative silhouette with a ring of eight repetitions of the character [Japanese text] (meaning "negation" or "nothing") in a cursive form [Japanese text], the same being repeated on each face, alternately with the perforations, in silver nunome (with a little gold); on the square edge, overlapping each face, are eight twelve-petalled flowers in the same technique.

    An important guard, but much worn (probably burnt), so that mere traces of the nunome remain. The character, when set within a slender ring, forms a badge of the Sengoku daimiō.

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