An armorer's tsuba, with very slightly raised rim on the strong, flat iron plate. Pierced decoration of a shrimp with pleasing, subtle swell along the antennae and legs (mostly on the ura.) Small, irregular brass inlays for the eyes (missing from one eye - not conspicuous.) The kogai-ana plugged with a copper rich alloy. Oval form about 2 7/8" (7.3 cm) by 2 3/4" (6.985 cm). Thickness at rim about 5/32" (.39 cm). Late 16th century to early 17th century - perhaps Momoyama period. Or possibly earlier with hitsu-ana added (though old). Good condition with varieagated hues in the dark, lustrous patina likely with extant lacquer adhering and accounting for some of the black color (note that the tsuba has an overall dark, mottled patina which our lighting doesn't adequately portray). Subtle tekkotsu evident - some old, worn pitting with the surface now smooth, almost soapy to the touch.