Restoration of a shibuichi dragon tsuba by 弘親 – Hirochika .

Originally I should repair patina but when I opened a package I realized that the tsuba was scratched by nails of loosen pin. These Japanese boxes are really not suitable as transport boxes. Mounting of the central pin is very weak. In this case you can see that they were just on edge of wall of the pin. Then weight of a tsuba and centrifugal force finish the work of “destruction”. So I had to repair also these scratches. How I succeeded you can compare on photos.

Let me explain something about shibuichi patina and appreciation of aged patina. In fact, despite aged, the patina on this tsuba is very bad due storage in aggresive enviroment as a result of harch chemical reaction. Normally I don’t recommend repatination if not necessary but it was not this case. Truth is that you can’t get an even aged patina on shibuichi. But well aged patina looks different. Check Metmuseum or MFA Boston for shibuichi tsuba. You will find a lot of various more or less uneven shades and colours. Some are exactly the same like I made (One of examples here) https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/34962 but no one is the same like on the tsuba before restoration. Not all aged patina can be appreciated like something worth of preservation despite is possible to reproduce it. This has to be distinguished. Shibuichi is very sensitive material for enviroment but various alloys have various potential how will react to chemicals in air.