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Another question about originals or modern reproduction tsuba

tsuba

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#1 roger dundas

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 01:13 AM

 I had thought that a modern tsuba maker probably wouldn't bother with double or triple sekigane fillers or go to much trouble with nakago ana modifications especially if the replica tsuba was of not much consequence- so I bought these two for little money as examples of their type. I quite liked them for that reason but now having read some of the recent posts I wonder just where they fit in and welcome your thoughts if you would care ?

 

The Owari tsuba is 65 x 64 x 5 mm       The Shippo(mon) Sukashi is 68 x 66 x 3mm

Thanks....Roger Dundas

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  • Owari 1 rs.JPG
  • Owari 2 rs.JPG


#2 lotus

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:02 PM

Those look good to my eyes and I agree, I doubt modern makers would bother with double sekigane.


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Patrick R.

#3 roger dundas

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for responding and thanks for offering your opinion Patrick. I must say it was welcomed.

I have thoroughly enjoyed going through the post you initiated above with all the whys and wherefores from the different contributers- it seems this issue has been gone over a few times in the past as well.

I presume a person's acceptance of a modern copy depends on the point of view of the collector- collecting for the artistry, collecting for the history , maybe collecting for a combination of both or collecting the very top end items once held by the 'very top end' people?

Do you want to know this?- I was once offered a fine, gold mounted Turkish kilij (sword) that had been presented to an Admiral Dundas in about the 1840s-1850s- for a big price. I commented to the (London) dealer that I didn't care about old Dundas and if he had known me, he wouldn't have cared about me either. Same name, absolutely no connection. I know someone called Dale King...…….

 

One more thing- being new here do I need to spend time as an apprentice before I say too much (as I do sometimes)?

Roger D



#4 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:42 AM

Giving your opinion is a perfectly-valid way to use NMB, as is asking questions. Most of us kind of assume you know what you're talking about, unless/until you prove otherwise.

 

Personally, Roger, I tend to appreciate new viewpoints, as they often get me to think about things I may have been taking for granted,


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#5 Ford Hallam

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 07:48 AM

Sorry to be the 'bad cop' but I'm afraid I would have to say that I can see nothing of any merit in these 'tsuba shaped objects'.

 

The fact that there is a mash up of copper in the nakago ana means nothing in this context. It's no big job to do that sort of thing and in any case I can't see any convincing evidence the copper or seppa-dai ever saw any meaningful service on a mounting. The roughening up of the nakago-ana edges is very contrived and awkward, they're trying far too hard to be old and much used. And yet the nakago-ana themselves are still quite sharp inside, even though the shape of the openings are pretty bad.

 

I wouldn't be so harsh as to call them fakes per se, rather these are, imo, amateur hobby work and probably a few decades old at best. As a hobby this type of work was evidently quite common in the mid 20th century in Japan.  They were probably 're-discovered' long after granddad died looking convincing rusted and aged through neglect. They're evidently copies of older models but a lot has been lost in the transfer of the design and even more in the execution. This is not the work of a trained metalsmith.

 

The iron is featureless mild steel, the patina is very superficial because it's really just a cleaned rusted bit of steel, and the workmanship is very uncertain. The ryohitsu shapes where they abut the seppa-dai reveal a lack of understanding of how kogai and kozuka lie in line with that face , and the chamfering on the lens shaped opening on the Owari copy is a bit fanciful, to say the least. 

 

It does concern me that there are so many pieces like this easily available on-line for tempting prices and I can well appreciate the urge to take a punt to acquire a tsuba at a bargain. But I think it safe to say that in a fairly short period of time the shortcomings of this sort of 'bargain' will soon become self evident. As to where they might fit in, I don't think they do.

 

I'd suggest that new students of tsuba stick to dealing with people we know well and regularly interact with here on this forum. Grey Doffin  would be my recommendation to start. He always has a good spread of very modestly priced yet interesting and perfectly legitimate Edo period iron tsuba. And never be hesitant to ask for advice or guidance before you part with your hard earned cash, I. for one, am always happy to offer an opinion.

 

Good luck

 

Ford

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#6 roger dundas

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 01:10 PM

That is a a generous post and offer Ford-thanks. And an interesting observation on the difficulties and pitfalls for novice tsuba collectors, in fact collectors of other works of art as well. Sometimes I suppose it can be like a trip to the casino (not my interest) until we have built up experience and knowledge and possibly been burnt now and then. That's occasionally been the way I have stumbled through  collecting.

And let me say just what a brilliant place this Nihonto Message Board is with all of your accumulated experiences offered to others.

 

Roger D.


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#7 lotus

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 12:41 AM

I should have put "At first glance" before my comment as I did not look at it in detail. Would be safe to say that Ford's observations are correct. In addition there is some crude carving in those sideways hearts on the Owari piece. 


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Patrick R.

#8 roger dundas

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 02:09 AM

All grist for the mill and all done so pleasantly- of value to all.

 

Roger D


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