The end of the great Samurai era took with it not only the military nobility themselves but the revered artisans who crafted all weapons, armor and other necessary accoutrements of those magnificent warriors.
Shakudo, invented by the Japanese, is a metal alloy of copper which usually contains 3% to 5% gold. It has a very dark blue color approaching black and was traditionally used for sword fittings and handles.
Here is a very fine example of a “kashira” (pommel cap covering the tip of the hilt of Japanese swords and daggers) which has been reinvented as a ring.
The iconography of a field of flowers running in a diagonal across the surface in two rows. Rendered in copper, gold and silver gilt we see the rich purple black textured patina typical of Japanese mixed metal work that comes with age.
The quality of the work and its aesthetic sensibilities are evident with the ring’s setting all in silver.