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Originating in Japan, the art of Shakudo is a decorative technique for armor and for the traditional and formal swords (katana) fittings for the Samurai. The process uses a mixture of copper and gold (and traces of other metals) to produce an indigo and black patina on the surface.
Banned in 1876 by their government, armorial artisans turned to jewelry and other objects to continue this honorable and idyllic art form. Most often the jewelry seen today is made of various parts of these ornamental yet functional elements.
The elongated oval shaped pommel plate or kashira at the end of the katana has been incorporated into a beautiful 14k yellow gold brooch from the Victorian era.
The mixed metal plaque is a landscape rendering of a bird, most likely a pheasant with chick and flower clusters and leafy plants. Done in a typical Japanese manner, the images display clean lines and minimal strokes.
Set into a yellow gold bezel and brooch and pendant fittings, the piece is a reminder of the development of the opening up of Japan for trade during this time span.