|period||Edo (ca. 1800)|
|designation||NBTHK Hozon Tosogu Futakoromono|
Kyo-Kinko is an attribution used to designate the gold workers who lived and work around the traditional capital of Japan, Kyoto in Yamashiro province. There was a market here for the nobility and the circle of power around the Emperor. Over the centuries many prestigious schools of sword making were located in Kyoto: Sanjo, Gojo, Awataguchi, Ayanokoji, Rai, Hasebe and Nobukuni in particular in the koto period. In the Shinto period this was continued by several schools, most conspicuously the Umetada school.
The Umetada craftsmen made top quality swords, and also made fittings and are regarded in the top echelon for their iron tsuba. They were also the craftsmen who made suriage at the request of the Honami and inlaid Honami attributions into gold signatures on shortened blades. The other primary important residents of Kyoto working in gold were the Goto family, who set the primary styles of traditional manufacture for iebori which were made in gold and shakudo and aimed squarely at the top ranking families and nobleman of the late Muromachi and Edo periods in Japan.
Various other smaller schools and also important craftsmen came to Kyoto and worked in similar styles to the above two schools. When it is difficult to attribute to an individual or to a school, but the work is clearly from the Kyoto region in the Edo period, the NBTHK will attribute to Kyo-Kinko. This designation is a superset of all Kyoto craftsmen and does include the above two groups, but if the designation could certainly be made to Goto or Umetada then those designations would be given instead of Kyo-Kinko.
These are high quality works from the Kyoto region of the middle to late Edo period. I think a bit later rather than earlier from the composition.
These are made in shakudo for silver sakura flowers and gold inlay for hats or umbrellas, and together invoke the feeling of Spring in Japan. Spring is a particularly wonderful time as the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms bloom then just as rapidly is over. We are reminded of the beauty of life, that the best moments are short and intense and to cherish them and live in the moment when they come to you.
As such they're an enjoyable set, and can be kept in a box for pleasure or else used as part of a mounting project for a high quality blade. They are nicely made and were coming off of a pair of mounts when I intercepted them in Japan. Unfortunately the box was a repurposed box for a mitokoromono because the inent I think was to mount them into a new koshirae. I can arrange a proper box for these if they will be kept, but they will be very nice for a koshirae project.