Sword accessories and Tsuba

Wilhelm Weimar, Sword accessories and Tsuba, Hamburg, Germany, ca. 1902, glass negative.
Courtesy of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

This glass negative is made by Wilhelm Weimar around 1900. It documents a possible method of arranging Japanese sword accessories for display. Whereas Brinckmann sought to categorize the tsuba (finely ornamented iron sword guards) according to formal criteria (with a Darwinian tendency that propounded an evolution from simple to complex forms), Hara pleaded for a division into schools, in that he favoured tracing lines of tradition.

Only a few of the over 2000 tsuba are on display in the permanent exhibition. The large part of the collection is kept in drawer cabinets in the attic.