Found at almost any antique show and many shrine sales, Tsuba, the ornate metal sword hand guards, a key component of any good samurai’s sword uniform, are one of those things that befuddle me a bit. While I adore Japanese metal work and its incredible influence on my original specialty, 19th century American silver, I seem to lack enough testosterone to find the tsuba themselves fascinating. And buyer beware, they (along with inro and netsuke) are one of the few areas of Japanese antiques in which fakes, or recent copies abound. Real ones should be crazy expensive, as in 5 digit yen at least, so if you find one at a flea market for the equivalent of $50, most likely it is too good to be true. And like obidome, which I adore, they are beautiful, no doubt, but what are you actually going to do with them?
Enter November’s House Beautiful and an ingenious design by Josie Natori – this Tsuba inspired napkin holder – gorgeous holding paper napkins on a drinks bar, or even for an outside party, so that they won’t blow away.
A perfect house or holiday gift, no?