This is a vintage branding Iron called a "yakiin". These were/are used on wood, leather...food...anything you want to brand. Please see the last picture to see an example of how it can be used.
I think they would look fabulous if used in pottery as a stamp. Also...I think they could be used with ink but as it is metal, the image wouldn't be as smooth and clear as a rubber stamp -please keep that in mind if that is how you want to use it.
This is "kuwaeru" (in Kanji character) which means "add to, increase, augment".
They are from the "昭和" "showa period" . The "showa" period is from 1926-1989 but these are at least 30 years old.
This is made of iron. Please look at the pictures carefully
It measures 21.3 cm long x 2 cm (the stamp) wide.
For more branding irons click here http://etsy.me/2cF0fg5
This post first appeared on Japanese Stickers Fabric Vintage Items And By From, please read the originial post: here