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This Week's Edo Period Corner


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#61 Eric H

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:47 PM

Piers,

You are right, works like this vase and other okimonos were exclusively made for the foreign markets. In this case, the carved tusk was in France by custom order provided with the bronze fitting, following the taste of that time. Around that period, artists of diverse disciplines were remarkably influenced by Japanese works of art, particularily by Japanese woodcut prints. A new style was created, the "Jugendstil" or better known as "Art Nouveau". For instance, Vincent van Gogh was fascinated with Japanese woodcut prints and has collected approximately 400 of them. He himself copied woodblock prints. See Vincent van Gogh's "La Courtisane" 1887 "after Eisen".
And a print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839 - 1892

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#62 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:11 AM

I was looking at a sword in a museum today that recorded in the Mei that it had cut through two dead bodies at Tameshigiri. This reminded me of your picture above. The sword would not just find the right place between the joints, but would cut right through the bones!

Van Gogh also collected Chirimen-e when they were simply Ukiyo-e that had been minutely folded into a kind of crepe and used as packing for tea containers.
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#63 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:16 AM

Someone mentioned cleaning kits the other day. Recently I found an old kit where the oil has turned into a kind of wax or something! In the photo I have included an old Edo Period Mekugi Uchi and brass hammer. There are various bits that came with it that I have strung together. I don't know what the brass blade is for, but it doesn't appear to be so old. Likewise the other rounded hammer is probably less than 70 years old.

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#64 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:08 AM

Well, another week; we had some interesting posts last week which took us to the crossover period when Western artists were finding inspiration in the newly-discovered artistic traditions of Edo Japan. (There was a huge influence in the opposite direction on Japanese artists.)

Last week I bumped into a French dealer from Germany named Jean Jacques, buying swords and Tosogu for an exhibition in Brussels in May. It's very rare that I will ever meet a Westerner in these parts. Today I was introduced to Thomas, a dealer from Belgium who goes to Tokyo once a year, but was persuaded to try the depths of the countryside. He found a mine of WWII stuff today, he was telling me.

Just to keep this thread ticking over, I am posting some recent finds: a kinchaku purse, and two priming powder flasks. These smaller primers tend to be more valuable to collectors than the larger gunpowder flasks proper. They rarely come up, and I grab them when I can. We use them for displays but it's hard to equip new members. Both of these can probably be repaired to live another day. Do I keep them for my collection, or donate/sell them for service as matchlock company equipment?

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#65 IanB

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:27 PM

Piers, How I envy you being able to wander around picking up treasures like the powder flasks and hammer :evil: . Your mention of the brass-blade reminded me that years ago I had a silver mounted tanto of the highest quality (solid gold signed menuki) and white deer-skin bindings. That had a brass blade in the kogatana. Of the two priming flasks I do like the lacquered one. Ian Bottomley

#66 nagamaki - Franco

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:46 PM



:beer:

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#67 nagamaki - Franco

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:03 PM





sorry about pic quality, 2nd images show truer color.
_________
Regards,

Franco

#68 Bungo

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:16 AM

my contribution to the Edo's corner......... a Harunobu print.
http://cgi.ebay.com/... ... :IT&ih=022

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#69 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:39 AM

Ian,
When you say the lacquer one, which one do you mean? They both have lacquer on them. Your tanto had a similar brass kozuka in the saya? It does indeed look like a one-piece kozuka to me, but I wonder why it is made of brass? A form of tsunagi?

Franco,
What kind of 'tray' is that? The scene is not one I have seen before, but I really like it. The Netsuke looks Meiji/Taisho, but it's difficult to tell from those pics. Do you collect Netsuke?

Milt,
That Harunobu print? is lovely. The facial expressions are stunning. I hope you are not selling it...
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#70 Brian

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:53 AM

No....Milt is the one that bought it :)
Nice.

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#71 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 12:00 PM

No....Milt is the one that bought it :)
Nice.

Brian


Now there's a man with sense! :phew:
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#72 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 02:28 PM

Something I picked up today. Can anyone see what it is?

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#73 Bungo

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:49 PM

" Something I picked up today. Can anyone see what it is? "

a worm that can be put to good use .......imagine , a salaryman in a bar, show this to the lovely hostess.
:badgrin: Makes the rest go lot easier.....
hope I don't need someone to step in to explain the joke.

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#74 nagamaki - Franco

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:51 PM

.....
Franco,
What kind of 'tray' is that? The scene is not one I have seen before, but I really like it. The Netsuke looks Meiji/Taisho, but it's difficult to tell from those pics. Do you collect Netsuke?

...


Piers,

the tray is a papier mache tray, if that's what you mean. see similar > http://www.rubylane....iques/item/1047

I'm not a netsuke collector, but do appreciate this art form very much.
_________
Regards,

Franco

#75 IanB

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 12:51 PM

Piers,
Yes, I think the blade of the kogatana was a brass tsunagi. Ian

#76 Brian

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 01:00 PM

I'm still waiting for Piers to let us know what that wierd little item is that he picked up.
:dunno:

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#77 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 01:37 PM

I'm still waiting for Piers to let us know what that wierd little item is that he picked up.
:dunno:

Brian


Milt wrote: "hope I don't need someone to step in to explain the joke."

That makes it difficult for anyone to say anything! :badgrin:

Brian, it's a kagamibuta Netsuke. Franco posted a Netsuke, so I decided to post the chestnut one as a follow-up. It looks like wood, but probably Corizo or Tagua nut, stained to provide a contrast with the ivory 'maggot' (Milt, 'worm'). The worm can be wriggled and jiggled and to some extent retracts. The 'kagami plate looks like iron, with chisel taps in it. Mumei.

Netsuke were as you know used as a sort of toggle to hang all kinds of sagemono from the obi. They tended also to be an eye-catching fashion statement, much as we might carry the latest phone or wear an unusual watch today.

I think Milt's brain is occupied with the sexual connotations of the pudendic chestnut being invaded by the naughty worm. :roll: :crazy:
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#78 Eric H

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:03 PM

For those who appreciate lacquer work. An other vase made of a large bamboo-segment, thickly covered with lacquer and skillfully carved to simulate bark.

Eric

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#79 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:19 PM

Wow! You'd never guess that was bamboo...

A chocolate log with ivy! :lol: It's such a pity that lacquerwork is not valued much in Japan today. Such an amazing art, and yet you can pick up ridiculous bargains. I have rescued big beautiful boxes and paid almost nothing, often only two or three thousand yen. Do you take care with humidity?

The Japanese have a long history of imitating wood, don't they. You get wood Mokume grain in sword blade steel, for example. Right at the other end of the scale are handrails and barriers on hiking trails, all made of concrete, but painted and swirled to look like wood!
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#80 Eric H

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 03:37 PM

Piers,

Ridiculous bargains ? I wish it were so. OLD lacquer ware, and a mean those of the highest level, mainly suzuribakos, inros, bundais and so on, once made by highly skilled craftsmen, who have mastered incredibly difficult procedures to embellish those objects. These treasures are bought at auctions by knowledgable people, sometimes at exorbitant prices. Go NOW to Christie's home page and write "suzuribako" as Lotfinder. Those prices will you knock over. BTW I'm aware of humidity.

Next is a (old) Kama

Eric

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#81 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:07 PM

Yes, you are right. What I meant was that within Japan the lacquerware that would have been for everyday use, including much of the better stuff, is not worth a lot. The very best work will be in the hands of collectors or off abroad, attracted by the kinds of mind-boggling prices you mention, Eric. Your own collection is lovely. That iron kama pot must be for the tea ceremony, and with the original box, worth quite a bit, I should imagine. You should get the right kind of binding to pass through that hole at the bottom of the box, if you haven't already got one.

I don't have anything like that, just folksy bits that I come across occasionally. I will typically sort through several thousand bits and pieces at two or three antiques fairs before I spot something that catches my eye and fits my budget. Here is one, representing the opposite end of the market from your pieces. I know what it is to some extent, but would be grateful if anyone can add to my understanding. It was black with filth and I spent several hours getting it to this state, rubbing off hundreds of years of history!!! :roll:

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#82 Nobody

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:27 PM

I know what it is to some extent, but would be grateful if anyone can add to my understanding. It was black with filth and I spent several hours getting it to this state, rubbing off hundreds of years of history!!! :roll:

Is it a spoon used for preparing medicine?
薬匙 (yakushi)

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MORIYAMA Koichi
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#83 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:43 PM

Ah, that's how you pronounce Kusuri + Saji, = Yakushi. Thank you.

Yes, I think you are right. It must be the 'saji' of the expression 'saji kagen'. Adding a little pinch of something to get the taste just right. The 'spoon' end is hammered very thinly out of one already quite slim needle of brass (square cross section). Do you think it is for 漢方 Chinese herbal medicines? Or do you think it could have been used for measuring gunpowder? The other end is thin and bendable enough to act as a せせり seseri for cleaning 火道 himichi, the little hole from the firing pan to the breech.
(The dealer wanted 1,000 yen for it and he wouldn't bargain. He knew nothing about it. It was quite bent and battered but I've cleaned it up a bit.)
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#84 Nobody

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:55 PM

I only just found a site about such devices. The spoon might not be so particularly old.
http://www.chiba-mus... ... _3_2_4.htm

BTW, 薬匙 seems to be also pronounced as “Kusuri-saji”, “Yaku-saji”, or “Yaku-ji”.

MORIYAMA Koichi
盡人事而待天命 - Do one's best and leave the rest to Providence.

♪ Nobody knows de trouble I see, Nobody knows but ......


#85 Bungo

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:03 AM

more wriggly thingie................

p.s. I can upload pic one at a time only ????...........more to come

milt

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#86 Bungo

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:04 AM

second pic

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#87 Bungo

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:06 AM

Brian, how do we post multiple images ? seems like it only allows one at a time.............bummer


milt

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#88 Brian

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:15 AM

You can upload 5 pics per post. Are you sure you are doing it correctly?
One at a time. Browse to file..upload (wait until it finishes)...browse to next one..upload. Then finally submit post.

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#89 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:30 AM

Yours is even more so, Milt! I see what you mean! 8)

(Don't push 'Submit' right away. When you push the button below which says "Add the file" it will go all silent for a few seconds while it swallows that first piccie, and then it comes up for more with another open window waiting for you to add a second picture. The waiting list grows. Finally you push Submit.)
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#90 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:13 AM

Eric showed some of his lacquer here, and then a question came up over the specific usage of a lacquerware container on the parallel Matsukawa-bishi thread.

This might be a good moment to show these two lacquerware containers which I bought quite separately for their attractive appearance. In each case the dealer told me he thought they might be for cosmetics for ladies, but he wasn't sure. The smaller one does have a similarity to an inro that a man might have carried, but was an inro not for medicine? :dunno:

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