Jump to content


Monkey Business


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Spartancrest


    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 208 posts
  • LocationTasmania

Posted 16 May 2020 - 02:22 AM

Just a heads up on another non-tsuba that appears from time to time. These desk ornaments were made back in the late 70's, not the 1870's,  the 1970's. They were made as museum replicas for a travelling exhibition on Japanese swords and sword furniture, I know because I went to it in Sydney about 1979.(yes I am that old) I have seen these passed off as genuine mounted examples of Edo work and some have the bases removed to make them 'serviceable'. As a replica I paid $40 which was fairly high priced at the time, but some are now being sold for $400 or more - another is on auction right now - opening bid $20 which sounds fair but I wouldn't bid much more!

Attached Thumbnails

  • monkey see monkey do.jpg

  • Tanto54, nektoalex and Steves87 like this

#2 Ken-Hawaii



  • Members
  • 5,826 posts
  • LocationKaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Posted 16 May 2020 - 03:09 AM

Looks more like Wolfman Jack than a monkey!

Ken Goldstein

Anyone can be tough for a season,
but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.

#3 Tanto54


    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 545 posts

Posted 16 May 2020 - 04:24 AM

Dear Dale,


Thanks for the heads up!  How do you think it was made?  Mass production by drop forging or casting?  Looks like the gold was painted on and the monkey soldered on afterwards.  What about the sekigane?  Did they really go to the effort of adding those or are they just painted on? (can't tell from the picture)

George M.

#4 Spartancrest


    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 208 posts
  • LocationTasmania

Posted 16 May 2020 - 05:01 AM


The bulk of the guard is cast in some sort of alloy- heavy- the monkey is separately cast and has a hole in his hand that attaches to the guard, all the extra's are painted on - some better than others I think the monkey is secured with some sort of glue as well because mine came off and that's the way I repaired it.

The sharp eyed may notice the monkey has been set in the hitsu-ana in this second example. Mine is set like the first example but I have seen about fifty/ fifty so it may have depended on who assembled them. Also my example didn't have all the casting faults as the second obviously does, so the quality control must have eased off.

They are decorative but I don't suggest they are usable. The back of his jacket is detailed - the original must have been really nice.


Saru in a Silk Shirt?

Attached Thumbnails

  • monkey like mine.jpg

  • Brian and Tanto54 like this

#5 Brian



  • Administrators
  • 14,937 posts
  • LocationSouth Africa

Posted 16 May 2020 - 09:19 AM

Great info, thanks Dale.

  • Spartancrest likes this

- Admin -

Want to contribute? Donate at http://www.paypal.me/japaneseswords
Thank you.

#6 parfaitelumiere


    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 106 posts
  • Locationfrance

Posted 16 May 2020 - 09:37 AM

I saw these twice for now, this is cast.

Patrice L

#7 Spartancrest


    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 208 posts
  • LocationTasmania

Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:13 PM

This monkey has had a good scrub, but it can't be said to be 'clean'. https://www.zentnerc...er-Tsuba-Monkey


You will notice all the features of the museum reproductions. Particularly the sekigane as molded in cannot be real. if this is truly silver I will eat it - not that I could afford this apĂ©ritif!

  • PietroParis likes this

#8 vajo


    Tokubetsu Juyo

  • Members
  • 4,329 posts
  • LocationGermany / Bavaria

Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:01 PM

I saw these from time to time on ebay. Really ugly and not my interest.

  • Spartancrest likes this

#9 Spartancrest


    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 208 posts
  • LocationTasmania

Posted Today, 05:31 AM

Have found the origin of these replicas https://www.worthpoi...nkey-1858300739

The 'Alva Museum Replicas. Inc, N.Y.' operated from 1948 -1990 run by Alfred Wolkenberg. The company specialized in mass produced copies of a huge range of diverse museum pieces. Tsuba pendants etc. turn up manufactured in the 1970's.  Nice to know where they originated from.


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: tsuba

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

IPB Skin By Virteq