Shibuichi Kozuka of Shunga Eotic Art
Shunga kozuka made of silver with shakudo, copper and gold. The fine carving is done in very good kiri bori style, especially upon examination of the both the facial and other detailed features. In most cases, this type of kozuka was made by the Otsuki School (see menuki section for another example of Otsuki work). They were very well known for making fittings like this in silver, and then either leaving the pieces unsigned, or like in this case signed by Kao only.
Shunga is a term for Japanese erotic art, meaning literally “spring, which is common euphemism for sex. It was thought by samurai that the carrying of shunga was a special lucky charm to ward against death and its popularity was such that both Japanese women and men were avid collectors of Shunga works of art and carried very little of stigma that it does today. With some research, we could probably figure out which maker made this interesting piece. The pictures tell the rest on a fun piece!
Click on picture for a more detailed look.