A sample of amazing Japanese sword tsubas, dating primarily to the 1700s, from the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum.
- Tsuba (sword guard) with Ho (sail) Motif. Japanese, 1700s. Copper-gold alloy. 2014.404
- Tsuba (sword guard) with Dragon Design, Japanese, 1700s. Iron, silver, gold. 2014.538
- Tsuba (sword guard) of openwork design with stylized pawlonia theme. Japanese, the late 1500s–early 1600s. Russeted iron, lead plugs. 2014.536
- Tsuba (sword guard): Deer Belling at the Autumn Moon. Japanese, early to mid-1800s. Iron, gold, silver, shakudo, and other copper alloys. 1976.239.
- Tsuba (sword guard) with Peony Design. Japanese, 1600s. Iron, shakudo plugs, embedded flat gold inlay. 2014.401
- Nanban School, Tsuba with Dragons, Waves, and Tendrils. Japanese, 1700s. Iron with gold inlay. 2014.108
- Tsuba of Sukashi-bori (openwork silhouette) type. Japanese, the mid-1500s–early 1600s. Iron. 2014.103
- Yoshū Matsuyama Jū Shoami Molikuni, Tsuba (sword guard) with bridge scene. Japanese, the late 1700s–early 1800s. Iron and copper. 2014.405
9 Tsuba with Design of Sho Ki Chasing a Demon. Japanese 1700s. Iron and shakudo (?) with gilding. 2014.110.
If you have never been to the WAM and seen the 2,500-piece Higgins Collection, you are missing out. If nothing else, check out the website, where they have many more striking items in photos.