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Ford Hallam

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Ford Hallam last won the day on March 3

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    In a barn just outside of Dartmouth....

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  1. Sebastien I'm happy to hear my post was useful to you. Working backwards Suaka is simply the Japanese word for copper. Just as shinchu is brass. Your's is copper/suaka, or aka-gane, red metal. All the same. And I'd agree, not Ichijo 'school' but clearly copying their popular style. The maple leaves and blossoms are done rather expressively I think, not really trying too hard to be Ichijo, and more it's own thing. The ground is also more expressive/powerful. I think it's a perfectly honest piece, not extremely refined but a pretty decent example of its type.
  2. A few observations I'd like to offer... Firstly, unless it's signed, and speaking here about Edo period work, it cannot be regarded as of a school. This is because 'schools' operated as guilds or effectively a franchise arrangement, or Iemoto system, you paid your dues, for instruction, in time in the studio training and working for the master. And then in subs once you were considered suitably skilled enough to carry the name of the school forward independently. Secondly I am suspicious of those snowflakes. The arrangement seems, to my eyes, dull and predictable so I doubt an Edo period date. If you imagine the design as a flower arrangement then this is the equivalent of 5 flowers in a neat row. As for the stamps, well in a way I've been expecting them. I've carved a couple of similar stamps for various restoration projects in the past so have some experience of the practicalities of making and using them. These however, strike me (pun unavoidable) as being machine made. I suspect we may see more soon. Oh, and it's brass, or shinchu not sentoku. Sentoku is a very different alloy, quite brittle and very unsuitable for stamping work. It's a lovely patina colour, the cleanness of the recesses of the stampings would concern me though. And finally, looking at the kogai hitsu, the edges are nicely and gently rounded out. An acceptable finishing touch and one we do see on period work. What we don't see it that chamfering continuing around where the opening touches or runs through the seppa-dai. This reveals to me that whoever shaped the kogai hitsu wasn't familiar with mounting tosogu in a koshirae because it doesn't make sense when mounted..
  3. I think Nara would be a fair call. Of Joi, Yasuchika and Toshinaga something suggests mostly Nara Toshinaga as an influence, but without a mei I personally don't believe it should be called 'school work'. If there is/was any legitimate school association or connection then a mei would allow for that connection to be confirmed. It's absence therefore suggests no legitimate claim.
  4. thanks Jean, yes, sorry...typo. At least I located it correctly on the map in my film
  5. Here's my 10 yens worth... If, as some have suggested this is a genuine piece of late Samurai history with all of its supposed associated integrity etc. then perhaps whatever price is paid is it's current 'value'. However, it strikes me as suspicious, particularly given the overt political expressions in Japan in recent years of 'virile nationalism' that this rare treasure wasn't snapped up long before it became necessary to offer it to all and sundry on the internet. Even if we ignore that unsavoury aspect of our present political climate any serious and credible piece of Japan's history is unlikely to be hawked on an internet web-site so frivolously.
  6. I should be remembered that cast iron can be rendered a little less brittle by an annealing process, to produce malleable cast iron. This was a procedure being carried out in China at least 1000 years ago. But that aside I still maintain that iron cast tsuba are a modern phenomenon.
  7. Dale, don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely in agreement with the assessment that these are crap cast fakes. I was just pointing out that the photo posted showing an apparent break seemed to be a photoshop job, based on the exact shadow positioning. This particular tsuba and it's many cast copies has been thoroughly discussed on this forum previously. There's a link above to a pretty definitive thread on it from 2011.
  8. I'm hugely impressed by how the person who apparently dropped and broke their tsuba managed to arrange the lighting in the second image to perfectly match the image of the tsuba from the auction site. That's almost unbelievable!
  9. Hi Bruno Soten tsuba, made in Hakone, were very popular as gifts and tourist mementos during the Edo period. I discuss this story in a film I made a little while ago, I posted a link to it in this forum a couple of weeks ago. As objects of a particular group if you bought one you would naturally want it to be clearly understood to be 'the real thing' and not a copy... or fake! We know that the metalworking guilds were in operation from the Ashikaga period already so such matters among the metalworking community would be a serious matter too. After all, your reputation and the name on your products was your livelihood. So, why then would a tsuba that appears to be Soten not bare a mei? To my way of thinking, in this case, it suggests that is is not Soten. And I'd suggest that the style, while a little similar, isnt really classic Soten but more 'in the style of..' To your second question, if indeed these figure are some of the 8 immortals then it would be a reasonable assumption to say that the missing tsuba to the pair has the other fellows on it to make up the gang.
  10. Ford Hallam

    Tsuba i.d.

    As David wrote, Kinai, left side reads Kinai saku (made), right side Echizen (no) Ju or 'living in Echizen (province)'
  11. Ford Hallam

    Menuki weight

    The fact that the backs of these are flat, as evidenced by the diagonal file marks across the backs, suggests whoever finished these off didn't understand the correct shaping of menuki. To my eyes these look like gilded and silvered brass castings, cast from wax models that came from a rubber mould of original pieces and are almost certainly not old enough to be called antique.
  12. I don't think there's any advantage to having any cleaning done before shinsa. It's in pretty good nick and looks spot on in my opinion. Good luck.
  13. Hi Tony The patterns are stamped into the tsuba ground. Not sure what the story might be but there was in the little woodblock book published in 1832 that illustrated the varieties of snowflake patterns. Sekkazusetsu or 'Illustrations of snow flowers' was a record made by a Daimyo (Doi Toshitsura, Daimyo of Hitachi Province), he'd imported a microscope from Holland and spent 20 years sitting in the snow in winter studying snowflakes and recording their shapes. Snowflakes had not been seen so clearly before and their beauty and novelty made them and immediate hit with designers and the culturally trendy of the urban centres.
  14. I'd say yes, definitely shakudo. The mei appears to suggest that it's by a certain Goto Ichijo....whoever he was . Judging by the work style, formal, use of nanako and mon, etc. and the obvious similarity to the classical Goto school style Kao it would appear to be/ or emulating an early Ichijo work.
  15. he he, well I'm quite proud of my friend and student, Marcus, calling it spot on. Obviously his eye has benefitted from superior tosogu appreciation training.
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