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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Mokkō-shaped tsuba with an elephant, chrysanthemum, and tama, or sacred jewels

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)

    Mokkō; modelled in low relief with an elephant almost filling the field; its body is silvered, its housing, with kikumon and flaming tama, gilt in nunome; at the back, on a ground of gold nunome cloud forms, is a large square tablet engraved with an inscription recording that during the Kiōhō era (1716-1735) an elephant came from China to Japan as an Imperial gift; narrow raised border resembling a rim. Signed: Yasuchika.

    This is a well known Yasuchika type. A similar example, of oval shape, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and others are known.

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