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Tosa Kuni Ju Myochin Munetoshi update

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#1 Spartancrest

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 04:57 AM

This subject has been discussed previously as far back as 2011, but just a short update on the growing number of these "tsuba" to use a word very loosely. I have added an often neglected view showing the bottom edge where the giveaway casting marks are often found. Collectors should be made aware of these often high priced 'Paper weights'. I continue to collect images of these things as they continue to pop up, there are a few right now on auction sites so have a real close look when you buy.

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#2 kissakai

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 09:48 AM

Good advice Date. I've seen a lot of this shape for sale so beware!


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Grev UK


#3 Brian

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:14 AM

Very interesting info Dale. The pics show a number of identical examples that could only have been duplicated by moulding.
I'm assuming not all of these are cast?


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#4 Spartancrest

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 12:45 PM

Brian 

 

I have seen some examples that are close to this design that were hand cut [ the one pictured is clearly in a league of it's own ], but I am just giving a caution on the large numbers that are copies. I have also seen a large number of what purport to be Hamano guards that are also copies - the difference with those being they are sometimes in different metals and some have iroe (colouring) but every one has the same simulated tagane-ato marks done with a Chysanthemum punch - the detailing is mainly good though some are very worn because of the soft nature of what-ever alloy was used. I watch with some alarm at some of the set prices on a few of these that reach into the thousands of dollars - especially since I purchased one for less than ten dollars [knowing full well it was a copy] I also know that there is one original or at least utsushi that is on the market now with N.B.T.H.K Hozon papers selling for  ¥530,000 - which puts it out of my league! Some people may not like to know, that what they have are only copies - especially if they have paid big dollars, but equally others may be relieved they didn't 'invest' in a fake.

 

I have plenty of other 'mass-copy' files on record.

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#5 kissakai

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 11:03 PM

This mine

 

T370 (1).JPG  T370 (4).JPG

 


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#6 Spartancrest

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 04:07 AM

Grev

 

So sorry to be the bearer of bad news, yes your guard is a typical copy. Almost all have an identical nakago-ana - though a few have casting spills at the top of the hole making it even narrower. I don't know how they were made so well so often! I assume the maker didn't have injection molding! The mei is sometimes blurry, worn or non existent - so possible multiple 'die' were used.

I have mine before me as I write, they are certainly big bold and heavy! Just checked my records and found it cost me all of 23 yen [approx 25c] - postage and fees were most of the bill! Thats a bargain even for a paper weight. For others out there I have posted an image showing the main points to check out - I love this forensic stuff!

 

Ps. Can I add the image of your guard to my ever increasing data base?

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#7 Steves87

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 05:35 AM

that is a great example of what to look for


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#8 kissakai

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 10:21 AM

Hi Dale

Thanks for the bad news!

Live and learn

I should have a least spotted the misshapened nakago ana

Of course you can keep a copy

 

 

Grev


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#9 Spartancrest

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 01:25 PM

Grev.

 

Thanks for that, found another up for sale/auction tonight in Japan with a Buy it now price 18,000 yen- think that gets me to 25 or 26 different images of all the same [if that makes sense.]


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#10 kissakai

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 02:26 PM

Mine was off eBay at 11,000 yen including shipping etc, so not so bad


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#11 roger dundas

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 02:55 AM

I would like to ask/say this-   It must be a bit of fun and somewhat financially rewarding for someone to be taking some of the tsuba collecting fraternity for a ride ?

 Now this isn't meant to be critical of collectors who across all facets of collecting have been subject to sharp practices and certainly not meant to be having a shot at tsuba collectors.

Rather, I'm just curious to know who would be churning some of these things out ? The Japanese themselves, the Chinese more likely or just who ?

Does anyone know or doesn't it matter ? Me, I am just curious.

It's something of a game being played in a way as is so much of what we do.

 

Roger d



#12 Spartancrest

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 04:06 AM

Roger D.

 

My own suspicion is that most of the 'good' copies/fakes were made in Japan possibly as late as the early 20th century - and they must have really cranked them out! They had the skill and knew what features to include. You don't have to be an expert [whatever that means] to spot the huge number of Chinese fakes that continue to flood almost every auction site. I have in the past even notified some major international auction houses to let them know they are selling - poor and to me at least very obvious fakes, and to their credit some have removed them from sale or at least relisted them as copies. I have also been in contact with a few museums and showed them evidence that some of their pieces are cast copies [and hardly worth displaying as genuine to confuse the general public]. (Yes I have too much time on my hands) Museums like the Ashmolean and the V&A are good at replying but reluctant to change their listings - certainly not in any hurry. As an example of other copies and showing the [vast] difference between Japanese copies [not utsushi, one exception being a Shoami utsushi top left page 300] and the Chinese, see the illustration [taken from a self published book I made for my own better view ] The design is Soten school I think, but the pieces are not genuine.

 

[Let me know if the image is hard to read.]

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#13 Steves87

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:47 AM

I do not mean to deviate from the thread topic, but this self published book looks quite interesting, do you have a link to more information on it?


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#14 roger dundas

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 07:40 AM

Thank you for that Dale. I could have swum over and spoken face to face instead of posting ?

But seriously, it is interesting to see the extent of it all.

 

Roger d



#15 Spartancrest

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 09:50 AM

Steven K. 

 

The book is one of my own ' Collected References .&. book of Utsushi'- This one not available to the general public because it contains some otherwise copyrighted articles 320 pages - could send a copy at print cost that way not making a profit - so does that constitute infringement? I mainly do books on tsuba - I think I am up to forty books by now. Not all out there on the book sites, though I think its about seven going at the moment. Mainly reworked out of copyright stuff some translated from German and French. In my humble opinion "Early Articles for Tsuba Study 1880 -1923" Enlarged Edition. is the most interesting, 390 pages with hundreds of B&W pictures. What is selling well for me right now is "Public Domain Tsuba in the Metropolitan Museum" a two volume edition of over 800 pages in colour. To keep the price within reasonable bounds most of my books are not printed on glossy paper - but I have the original layouts so can change that if needed. I have one book that I am unsure if I should release generally. "The Etiquette of Seppuku" that was originally published in1871 as a section in "Tales of Old Japan" by Lord Redesdale. It is only 30 pages but gives a first hand account of what he witnessed and several other accounts - what worries me is I don't want this out there as a 'How to do' book, some of it is very graphic. This is published in colour - with blood stained paper! Also have a three volume hard cover edition on the "Sir Arthur Church collection of tsuba in the Ashmolean museum Oxford "- on glossy paper with a title page disclaimer reading ' Not for general dissemination and solely for research purposes.' as a one off that I would sell at below cost. Approx 720 pages and contains over 1,200 tsuba in full colour. That one took me months to do!  By saying that selling my books is 'going well at the moment' - the sales such as they are, help keep me in poverty, small market in a specialized field. 

This is all way of subject sorry.

 

Roger d.

 

I have a lot of images of what can only be termed mass produced guards, they look ubu but when you see 5, 6, 50 of them over time they start to stand out, I even have an instance where a Japanese site was selling a batch lot of one design [one I had had in the past - yes like everyone else I have been stung] even managed to offend an Italian 'expert' who had had his piece verified by a prominent European museum- he didn't like the evidence - while he was selling it for several thousand euro!

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#16 Steves87

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:01 AM

Thanks Dale, I actually have at least three of your books already, I did not make the connection! 

I have your Public Domain Tsuba MET book(s) on my birthday wish list at the moment


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#17 Spartancrest

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:42 AM

Stephen K 

 

I think they are a bit pricey but that is out of my control, the printer and distributor make all the cash - I do the work and get pennies, but I really only do it for fun and to spread some info, in English. I am sure the other authors [I prefer editor] don't publish for the money and they do a good job too. Marcus Sesko and Gary D. Murtha have some great reference books that I often go back to for information, written well and easy to take in.


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#18 Brian

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:58 AM

Dale, I think these books are important enough for their own thread. Won't you start one, giving us all the info, prices, titles etc?
I also think you should look at electronic distribution. It really is the way forward.


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#19 kissakai

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 11:02 AM

When I did my books I asked Marcus for some advice and from his advice I use LuLu

They are a print on demand and I found the cost worked for me

Marcus did say it won't make you rich but I was more about offering good value at an affordable price


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#20 kissakai

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 11:05 AM

I just ordered the Boston V1 from Amazon as it was good value

The price for V2 was a lot more expensive so I'll leave that one for a while

Brian is right about the electronic distribution as the way to go


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#21 Spartancrest

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 12:30 PM

Grev

 

Boston V1?

 

Metropolitan Museum you mean? Amazon is very confusing price wise they offer second hand editions of books that are not even printed yet!, Vol 2 should be cheaper than volume 1 it has slightly less pages, I bought my copies direct from Blurb.com who do my printing - found they have a better range of paper options and four or five print qualities - To keep price down on the theory that cheaper would make them more available to the many - went for economy printing. Would recomend looking at more book sale sites than Amazon they are not always the cheapest. I couldn't even afford my own books in hard cover, just as well, I had to fix a few spots before I listed them! Proof reading on a screen is hard work! Did not consider doing an electronic rendering of the Met book, why bother if you are on the computer just go to the Met on-line. I like reading in bed with the real thing in hand and its quicker to turn the page!


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#22 kissakai

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 12:58 PM

This is the reference - I hear so much about the Boston collection I was sidetracked

 

Actual books:

Public Domain Tsuba in the Metropolitan Museum" a two volume edition of over 800 pages in colour


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#23 Spartancrest

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 01:22 PM

Grev 

 

When you get the book let me know any mistakes you can find, I am no expert but have opinions gained over a long time. If I know a mistake I can get the book fixed for the benefit of others. My biggest regret is that approx one third of the Met collection are under copyright so we all miss out on whats there [ and that is most of the really good stuff ] 

 

The book prices I get from Blurb are cheaper but postage is still a killer.

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#24 kissakai

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 03:11 PM

Can you give me link for the second volume


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#25 Spartancrest

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 02:04 AM

 Grev

 

I am no tech head when it comes to links - only just discovered you can cut and paste links few weeks ago - doesn't help if you can't find the link to start with though! Hope these work but no guarantee.

 

https://www.blurb.co...litan-museum-of   Public Domain tsuba in the Metropolitan Museum Vol 1 (474 pages)

https://www.blurb.co...litan-museum-of   Public Domain tsuba in the Metropolitan Museum Vol 2 (336 pages)

https://www.blurb.co...-1923-revised-e  Early articles for tsuba study revised.  6x9 in. (15x23 cm) trade book. (364 pages)

https://www.blurb.co...0-1923-enlarged   Early articles for tsuba study enlarged.  8x10 in. (20x25 cm) trade book. (392 pages)

 

ABE BOOKS has Public Domain/ Metro Vol 2 from US$ 37.65 

https://www.abebooks...3&afn_sr=impact

 

I make note that while doing the Met book I was amazed to see how many 'Kaneie' style guards Bashford Dean donated to the museum, he seems to have had a real predilection for them, maybe he thought that if you collect enough you might get lucky and find a master-work.


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#26 roger dundas

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 03:11 AM

Thanks once more Dale, great research but also so well explained.

 

Roger 2



#27 Spartancrest

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 09:19 AM

Roger 2

 

Glad you didn't do that swim across - the water is a bit chilly, you do realise it's nearly ten times the distance of the English channel, have you tried that before?

 

 

To keep the thread moving I include another set of copies that may upset a few collectors - it upset me! My very first guard I ever purchased turned out to be a fake ! At least my example is of better detail than this lot and probably had some izarae [finishing]. It shows a Chinese General and Sage from a famous Chinese legend.[ Looks like the General is trying to read the other guys newspaper  :o ]

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#28 kissakai

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 09:38 AM

Hi Dale

The link is a description not place to buy the V2

I found this and went to Amazon but it was too expensive and your earlier post shows it a lot cheeper


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#29 Spartancrest

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 11:45 AM

Grev 

 

Like I said not a tech head - see if this works ABE BOOKS has Public Domain/ Metro Vol 2 from US$ 37.65 

https://www.abebooks...3&afn_sr=impact

 

 

Living on opposite sides of the planet has its timing difficulties!


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#30 Tanto54

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 10:41 PM

Dear Dale,

 

First, thanks for your efforts to bring these fakes to the attention of our community.  Second, two other areas that you may want to look at for multiple fake copies are the area of gold menuki and namban tsuba.


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Regards,
George M.





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