Tsuba - bronze but no signature

I am a novice when it comes to Japanese blades, but when it comes to Tsuba, I am not even as accomplished as a novice.
Please refer to the 2 No. images attached. It is bronze, with no signature and measures 65mm by 61mm by 2mm thickness - so not quite circular in shape.
Is it possible to date, given stylisation and theme, butlack of signature?
What do the figures and lion or dog represent?
Is the gold a plating or solid gold or not in fact gold at all?



tsuba1.jpg103.6 KB
tsuba_2.jpg89.65 KB

gold stuff

I have very limited knowledge/experience with kodogu (sword fittings).
Someone with enough experience should be able to estimate a time period. If it is high-quality work, it might be possible to name a specific artist, just like with blades.
The lion and dog are fairly common "themes", but I don't know much beyond that.
Related: research the term "shishi":

It's entirely possible that the "scene" on your tsuba represents a story from Japanese or Chinese mythology/history. Here's a classic example:

Gold: Just like in the west, there are many alloys of precious metals - some contain only a little actual gold (or silver). Google "shakudo" and "shibuichi".



Hi Pete,

Thanks - huge area in itself - artistry on some fittings is stunning and recognised as such.
I think I'll stick to appreciating their artistic value without delving too deep. Just not enough time, enough hours in the day to do it justice. I'll dip in and out.