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

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Tsuba with sailing ships

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)

    Low-relief modelling with rich gold and silver nunome; the front nearly filled by the greater part of a large junk or "foreign" ship (gilt) with phoenix prow, and five sails (also gilt), which may or may not belong to it; on the back are seen its stern (with elephant head) and two large coral-branches (gilt) emerging from the waves (modelled on each face and silvered); pearled border (gilt), resembling a separate rim; oval sd. (silvered) engraved with cloudsm its narrow raised edge and those of the rh. gilt.

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