Japanese Iron Kanemono Pouch Fitting/Menuki | Gold Dragon and Gold Striped Tiger | 19th Century

This is a beautiful, high relief example of the finest of Japanese 19th century metalwork, in the form of a kanemono, or clasp, with its original silver back plate. The piece incorporates deep detailing in the form of a dragon, tiger, waves and clouds. The composition of the piece incorporates gold and silver highlights on darker black metal: Shakudo, which is a traditional Japanese material, and is an alloy of gold and copper. The dark black patina is achieved by applying a compound called Rokusho to the piece and then heating it. It has its origins in the making of Japanese armor and swords. It was banned in 1876 by the Japanese government, so artisans turned to fittings to continue this honorable craft. The piece is in exceptional, original condition. Dimensions: 2-6/8”L x 1-0”w. 

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