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Origins of Duncan Tsuba - The Phoenix Motif

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  • Origins of Duncan Tsuba - The Phoenix Motif

    Images
    1 - Met Bulletin, Sept 1928
    2 - Tsuba, Okumo, 1952
    3 - NYPL, Portrait of Dr. Isaac Wyman Drummond
    4, 5 - Propabilia, original Highlander TV tsuba


    ​First posted to Highlander Sword Shoppers Guide on Facebook



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    Mystery of the Drummond Tsuba - The original guard on Duncan Macleod's Katana:


    It was the basis for the guard used on "Highlander: The Series", And was famously copied by Marto.

    Featured in The Met Bulletin in September of 1928, after the death of it's owner Dr. Isaac Wyman Drummond in 1933, its current whereabouts are unknown…

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    "The Drummond Loan Collection of Sword Furniture
    Stephen V. Grancsay
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin,
    Vol. 23, No. 9 (Sep., 1928"


    The reverse side of the 'Drummond Tosa Tokei' Tsuba was located. First spotted in the Met bulletin from 1928, the reverse side was found in “Tsuba”, by Yoshihide Okumo, 1952.

    (From the Met Bulletin, Sept 1928) "Two Tosa Kokei (fighting cocks with long white feathers sometimes over six feet long). These birds were bred only on the estate of the Daimyo of Tosa, and it is interesting to note that part of the ceremony of this Daimyo's procession was to throw a spear which was ornamented with feathers of the Tosa bird, which would be caught by a retainer.

    (From Tsuba, Okumo, 1952) "Kinai School of Echizen, Maru gata tsuba with maru mimi 8.0 x 8.1 x 0.48 cm. Quite thick tsuba, sukashi bori design of two roosters incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Mumei. Dai not known, but has features of sandai Takahashi."


    Why was this drummond collection tsuba chosen for the Highlander Series Katana? Digging deep into the literature the bird is identified as 尾長鶏, or Onagadori, a type of long-tailed chicken. To most people it appears to be a Phoenix.

    In japanese Phoenix is referred to as Ho-Oh, 鳳凰 (Chinese, Fenghuang), and also Fushichō, 不死鳥, or "Immortal Bird" .. which would be a fine reason for Steve Geagan to have chosen this tsuba, as it signifies continual rebirth, and immortality.


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    Original Duncan Tsuba from Highlander TV Series, from Propabilia:
    https://www.propabilia.com/store/p50...5BSOLD%5D.html

    Drummond Loan Collection of Sword Furniture, JSTOR:
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3256036

    Reference to
    “Tsuba”, 1952, Okumo, Yoshihide
    http://www.users.on.net/~coxm/?page=TsubaIII
    Last edited by durandal; 02-17-2022, 12:55 AM.

  • #2
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    Comment


    • #3
      Again durandal ... Nice and very informative work ... Many thanks
      La Peur Tue l'Esprit ...

      Comment


      • #4
        Beautiful. I'm with Kladdagh. Great work here!

        Comment

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