Japanese Iron Kanemono Pouch Fitting/Menuki | Sumo with Gold Accents on Silver | 18th Century | Signed
This is a wonderful example of the finest of Japanese late 18th century metalwork, in the form of a kanemono, or clasp, with its original copper back plate. The composition of the piece incorporates gold highlights on a darker black metal base illustrating a Sumo accepting his award in the standard squat, (shagamu), position with a gold bell in his mouth. His fearless eyes are additionally highlighted in gold. He is wearing an elaborate ceremonial cape from the baku-fu period, (1850s). This metalwork is referred to as 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 for use in Japanese armor and swords.
The piece is signed and identified as Nagamasa Chosei, who was a metalwork craftsman from Kyoto in the 18th/Century. The piece is in excellent condition with superb intricate detailing. The piece measures 2-0”L x 1-1/8”w.