Gilt bronze sword pommel
Kofun period, 6th century AD
This gilt bronze pommel was made for a straight single-edged iron sword, and is an example of the annular, or ring-shaped type. They often contained designs originating in China or Korea, particularly pairs of phoenixes or dragons. Chinese and early Japanese pieces like this were cast in one piece, but later Japanese examples were also cut from plate.
The hole in the base received a pin fixing the pommel to the end of the hilt.