Did you know? Tiny ornaments on samurai sword handles improved grip. The delicate designs on each accessory reflected the personal and scholarly interests of the sword’s owner. Pictured here is a four-piece set of sword fittings attributed to Gotō Kenjō.

See these elaborate designs and more in Samurai: Beyond the Sword at the DIA. Read more and purchase tickets here: http://bit.ly/1fz903A.

Image: Matching Four-piece Set of Sword Fittings Decorated with the Kurikara Sword, attributed to Gotō Kenjō, mid-1600s, gold-copper alloy (shakudō), silver, gold. Courtesy of Richard and Adoree Suran