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Tsuba with design of a dragon

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Tetsugendo Naoshige, with a kao; Tenmei kyu tsuchinoto-tori shogatsu kichinichi [Tetsugendo Naoshige, on an auspicious day in the ninth year of Tenmei, tsuchinoto-tori (=1789)] 鉄元堂敏行(花押)天明九己酉正月吉日


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

Japanese, Edo period, early to mid-19th century (?)


Overall: 7.3 x 7 x 0.9 cm (2 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Main material: iron; other metals: gold; shakudo plug; decorative technique: sukashi-bori, marubori, zogan




Arms and armor