Re: Horses and sword guards (tsuba) on the Japanese sword
Forgot to answer the other question. The mane and tail are shakudo, a copper and gold alloy. Shakudo "polished" looks like a dark copper. But given time (or a proper treatment) it will develop a lovely dark patina. It was a favorite soft metal among artisans in Japan as it has very nice working qualities and it will "heal" its patina naturally over time if it is damaged.