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rkg last won the day on November 9 2019

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    Portland, Oregon, USA

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    Richard George

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  1. Well, There's two problems - first, boxes often need to be big enough to stick the customs forms on (depending on the service it was sent by). In addition, sometimes a slightly larger package tends to not get lost, damaged less, etc. And... if the seller has a "system" that works for them, has prevented damage claims, etc it really can be a major pain to do something different. Second, damage is a thing - envelopes can get mutilated (and lost), and even boxes require some thought - here's a couple of my favorite "receptions" (NOT!! - I almost had a heart attack when each of these showed up, as they both had 6 figures worth of kodogu in them for me to image): https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1462966100425400&id=266005023454853 In the first case, the sender did everything right, but UPS tried real hard to smash it (and it arrived in the winter so I had to wait a number of hours for it to warm up before I could even open it for inspection to prevent condensation issues). In the second case, the shipper probably could have put this box in the next bigger one and got a better result - again, keeping your goodies away from the corners/sides of the box generally gets you better results... I'm sure some of you guys can probably attest to the crazy packaging I personally use, but I've shipped a lot of small valuable items all over the world/have received a fair number as well and I only do it in response to the damage to boxes I have seen/had to deal with.... I'd love to use less, but until the package carriers of the world stop trying to crush things, that's not gonna happen.... Too bad guys like Pelican/sks, etc haven't addressed this market with lightweight plastic cases so it all could be reused (their normal cases aren't really right for this - tooo heavy) Best, rkg (Richard George)
  2. There's an amazingly large number of cast copies of these, and ts scary how much some get bid up on YJ sometimes - you know the buyer isn't gonna be happy when they figure it out. rkg (Richard George)
  3. Hi, Has anybody recently gone through shipping higher dollar pieces from Japan to the US using EMS? How did it go? Thanks, rkg (Richard George)
  4. A picture of the piece (well, the nakago ana) is in Wakayama's Toso Kodogu Meiji Taikei (volume 2, p.260 if you want to look it up), so I guess at least he thought the mei was good, but.... That work really isn't (IMHO) - most natsuo stuff makes me go "ooh" - the workmanship on this doesn't... George M's assertion that its a student piece that received a "courtesy mei" sounds like as good an explanation as any, though I guess we'll never really know (maybe he did it for a customer he hated/ordered something he didn't want to make, or...). The auction was more fun to watch than the one for that beat up Myoju/Mitsuyoshi piece that was up not tooo long ago... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  5. Bruno, It looks ishiguro-y, but often the later guys would be "inspired" by (or get an order for a piece that looked like) other groups, the maker might be an unrecorded minor smith, etc. Given how good some of these guys were, looks can be deceiving. First off, did you run down the other artisans who signed 正克 in Haynes to see if they did anything like this (H04076.0 - H04081.0)? Bob was usually pretty good about noting when they signed with a kao as well, so there being no note of one on these is kind of a red flag that this might be a waste of time, but... A quick check of Wakayama and the mei book xlated by Marcus yielded nobody signing masakatsu this way, which makes me think maybe the better explanation is that the guy is an minor maker (or the mei a rare alternate one from somebody else) that isn't recorded in the "usual suspect" books. Elliott Long worked with Haynes to put all the mei/makers that Bob found since he did the index and their addendums into a book - maybe you could either get a copy of this or beg somebody who has it to look in it and see if this 正克 is in it? Also, is there a book with a more thorough listing of all the ishiguro artisans out there? Good Luck, rkg (Richard George)
  6. Michael, Yeah... that one (especially with crusty rust like that in what would be considered wear areas) is just kind of neglected. I think the Japanese really were into wabi shabby for quite a while (a lot of earlier goto work was apparently "pre worn" to have this look, etc), but I don't think your piece is that. - here's one that was just used a lot: This piece is probably right on the border of having too many losses, but its interesting to me because it was used quite a bit and appears to have always been cared for. Note also that sometimes on pieces there's this stuff called sukirushi that can start looking pretty bad/like corrosion, but it isn't. I think it was some kind of lacquer clear(??) coat that seemed to have been popular for a while (you see it on several different types of tsuba and actually other artifacts of a certain age or older) that didn't age well: Oh, and here's an onin covered with that gunk as well: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  7. I looked really quickly in the mei book Sekso xlated - I 'think' the kao looks like the first's... I agree with Curran - it doesn't really make me go "ooh" either, but to each their own or if you're collecting mei... best, rkg (Richard George)
  8. Glen, I generally try and support education about this stuff, so reposting is fine as long as you aren't trying do do something fraudulent (photo credit appreciated :-) ). I've actually posted images of most of of my collection on Rich Turner's Kodogu no sekai page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kodôgu-no-Sekai-小道具の世界-266005023454853 You gotta put up with the occasional "streaming consciousness" and rant posting, but.... Unfortunately facebook seems to be working hard at making cross posting stuff harder, so its not as useful as it used to be. Not sure what to say about a publication - they're a lot of work, and after seeing really top end stuff, I'm not sure I've got enough pieces that are publication worthy to do much of one.... Besides, I'm always trying to do better imaging, and an electronic format is more amenable to adding better images, 360 image sets, etc as I get more interesting images of stuff, discover things later, etc. The "amoeba" piece on the lower right is actually pretty big, measuring 81.2mm (H) X 77.9mm(W) X 3.60mm (T, seppa), 5.40mm (T, mimi). The one of mine you reposted measures 111.1 mm (H) x 79.8 mm (W) x 4.2 mm (T, mimi), 3.6mm (web) On my most favorite piece, I actually posted some images of my most favorite tsuba ever on the fb page above: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=266005023454853&set=a.2863362817052381 Its a pretty atypical Nobuie, but in hand it blows me away - surprising, as I'm not normally a huge Noubie fan, but I digress... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  9. In keeping with abstract tsuba... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  10. I've only got one shippo piece: its different on the back - for a psychedelic experience: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  11. Dale, In this case I'd posit that it was more like the work was subcontracted out while the tsuba was being made for its first owner rather than it being added appreciably later. Usually pieces attributed to the same groups that did the inlay are made of this kind of doughy iron that rusts at the drop of a hat, which this doesn't appear to be. While "subtraction" from existing pieces (resizing, shape change, removing decoration, hitsu ana added, etc) is actually pretty common, I personally believe that far fewer pieces have had metalwork added at a later date (other than the odd repair and of course the ubiquitous sekigane/hitsu ana plugs, and less often a fukurin to spiff things up ) than is typically thought. The process is actually pretty brutal/takes a surprising amount of work to do "right" (you have to depatinate the tsuba, resurface it to get it to the appropriate condition for the addition, do the work w/o damaging other features, etc). Between the effort/cost associated with that and losing all that wabi-shabby age/wear that was often prized.... On the other hand, other stuff like lacquering/black waxing (at some point) was pretty common, so YMMV. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  12. On the kiyotoshi piece Bruno put up.. First off, it seems like a number of the tanaka guys had quite a variety of ways that they signed, and some of the variations aren't shown in the books, so you sometimes have to look across several mei to see all the kanji. That said, I'd buy that it was done by some Touryuusai school guy, but the work doesn't seem over-the-top enough to be by Kiyotoshi (though I'm sure he didn't do his "usual" level of work all the time/maybe let a student piece slide, etc), so ymmv on that. But back to the mei - To my eye, the kao acutally looks Real Close, but the kiyo and toshi characters seem slightly different (some strokes missing, etc) from the published examples (at least from the examples in the mei book Markus xlated, I didn't pull out Wakayama and compare to those). Blessing it or calling it gimei is above my pay grade though... Good Luck, rkg (Richard George)
  13. Dale, On the first tsuba, I've seen several tsuba with similar inlay papered to heianjou. The hitsu are kind of odd though. Haynes has posited that there were inlay specialists that would put inlay on whatever was brought to them and I've seen a lot of pieces that would be binned as katchushi (like the piece pictured), tosho, etc - except for the inlay - add that and they get moved to the heianjou zougan bin. On the second piece, that type of dragon seems to be more typically depicted with waves/storms, so maybe that is what's going on here? Best, rkg (Richard George)
  14. rkg

    "Ume" tada school

    I think the MFA piece was done by this guy (lifted from the mei book Markus xlated, presented for educational purposes only): I have a piece signed umetada with the ume as the first character, but I kind of think its done by a different umetada guy, maybe the same as the pieces Dale posted?: I hope that helps... Best, rkg (Richard George) Edit: and looking of fleabay, there's a Japanese seller that appears to have another piece by the ichi'ou guy available as well: https://www.ebay.com/itm/265202417456?hash=item3dbf4bbf30:g:wYUAAOSw49Rgtj0m
  15. If you look at the bid history, it appears that the winner was some gaijin (usually the buyers with lotsa transactions are agents), but apparently a Japanese bidder (due to the relatively small number of xactions) was the underbidder... Fun, fun, fun Best, rkg (Richard George) EDIT: here's the abbreviated bid history:
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