Lot 363: TSUBA WITH CHARACTERS
19 November 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Iron. Japan, 18th century or earlier
Of large mokkogata form with two hitsu, rounded even rim. Ishime ground bearing recessed irregular sections each with two equal and overlapping characters or crossed lines , in the upper section one character meaning “large” and in the lower section “earth” (otsuchi).
HEIGHT 8,55 CM
From the collection of Dr. Karl Florenz (1865-1939)
Dr. Karl Florenz was a renowned scholar, university professor and considered a pioneer of German Japanese studies. He resided in Japan from 1888 until the beginning of the First World War and then continued his lectures at the Hamburg Colonial Institute, never returning to Japan again. Famed for having translated several important Japanese books including the Nihongi, Japan’s oldest official history text, he was awarded the Japanese doctor title in literature. His extensive collection was largely destroyed by air strikes in the Second World War (which he himself did not live to witness), however, most tsuba etc. survived in relatively good condition. Dr. Florenz primarily collected tsubas dating to the 18th cent. and quite evidently made an effort to explore a wide range of motifs.