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Everything posted by rkg

  1. Colin, That piece looks like one that would be binned as Hizen work. The shape is called wan gata, and while I'm not seeing the meaning of the pattern on the back this morning, the shape + design does look to be in the namban style... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  2. Robert, Thanks for taking the time to reply! Since nobody replied earlier, I bit the bullet and used EMS. The trip from Japan to the US only took a couple of days, but then the package spent a week in or around customs in Los Angeles before they cut it loose and actually shipped it to me. I recently had a second one shipped via EMS so I guess I'll see what happens this time around. I had to decide on shipping right after I got notification that the package actually got from to Japan to LA quickly, and... Thanks again, rkg (Richard George)
  3. Jay, There are a bunch of them listed in Haynes- these specifically seemed to sign choshu hagi H 09972.0,H 09974.0,H 09975.0,H 09978.0 and there were a couple more that were from Hagi that might well have signed this way: H 09976.0,H 09977.0 These go on for pages and I actually have to leave now to shoot some stuff so I can't screen grab/copy the pdf right now - you might need to go to Wakayama and see if you can find the matching mei (at least with that you can then go find it wakayama's meikan and use that to get the right Haynes entry for that particular one - I don't happen to have a copy of wakayama's meikan so...). If nobody else posts I'll see if I can get the time to do it tomorrow Good Luck, rkg (Richard George)
  4. And.. on the most recent iteration, the piece apparently got up to ¥2,151,000, and.... the seller zeroed the bids. Whatever. Best, rkg (Richard George) EDIT: And... its now up with a buy it now of ¥2,000,000: https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/n1047820061
  5. rkg

    Tsuba boxes

    John, How good a box are you looking for? You can often find lots (both in terms of quantity per listing and number of listings) of "base level" Japanese made boxes pretty cheap on YJ and sometimes even fleabay (as Dale alluded to). you can buy a bunch of these and toss the existing otoshi (or use it as the substrate) . Just be sure not to get the Chinese ones - they're awful. For a while I was buying old tsuba boxes on YJ, but you have have to be careful not to pay a lot as sometimes base/lids are mismatched (and,like most everything else on YJ, anything good has started to get bid up to crazy prices - so YMMV). Unfortunately the company making the "mid grade" boxes everybody used to sell went out of business - hopefully somebody will chime in with contact info for the high end guys/a box maker us gaijin can interact with. Good Luck, rkg (Richard George)
  6. Jesse, Omori Hideuji - he's buried in the middle of their genealogy chart (one of teruhide's "spare" sons) - an actual omori guy, but apparently not a big name. I don't know how he stacked up vs. Terumitsu - there's probably a story there since Terumitsu was the 5th son and Hideuji was the second (and was passed over as the successor). Maybe he died young or something (don't have time to dig out the Haynes to see). I also saw a chart where the 4th son (Hidetomo) was also labeled as Hideuji, but maybe that was a typo, the guy changed his name, or... But I digress. It looks like decent enough work, and it is a daisho, but its not the greatest omori work I've ever seen. That said, there doesn't seem to be a lot of good kinko work available/offered up in public forums these days. Between that and the yen going down vs. the dollar (and, of course, the aforementioned shill bidding) prices of anything even halfway decent seems to be getting bid up up quite a lot. And yeah, on top of the rampant shill bidding, the purveyors of these higher end pieces seem to love to cancel auctions unless the piece gets bid up to ludicrous prices, cancel auctions and through it out with a buy it now for a day at an even more ludicrous price, etc - Teabagg-er, prince_de_darjeeling is another one that does stuff like this - I don't even bother bidding on his stuff anymore as well. Too Bad JY doesn't seem to have a reserve price system - it would save everybody a lot of time/grief if you knew your bid was actually going to be accepted, but I digress... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  7. No. I've seen this piece in hand and under the microscope. The black areas are filled sukashi, the black Lacquer is newer, but is maybe late as Meiji or so but definitely not modan. The filler is that traditional stuff you sometimes see used to build up mimis, etc. It could well be that the filler/lacquer was done to spiff up the piece for sale to tourists at that time. And yeah, like Rich posted I would say saotome rather than shouami. good price. Somebody should buy it... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  8. Well, on your piece, its more like Christmas... Darcy once likened this process (finding things in the woodwork and having them paper well) to winning the lottery. I hope your number comes up . Best, rkg (Richard George)
  9. Not a scam, he's looking for a bunny... There's actually a surprising number of mumei tsuba out there done in this style, quite possibly by somebody associated with or actually the orignal Nobuie boys (they're not signed so we will never really know, but they used the same iron, design language, had the same surface work/treatment, have the right age, etc etc) - and... they usually only go for a few hundred up to a couple of grand. (I've always been amused by the 20X or so the price goes up on these tsuba for that mei). My favorite one of these is owned by Bob Haynes - just saw it again a couple of days ago - it catches your eye from across the room as "real" nobuie does, and... its mumei (worse yet the mei was removed). Bob's theory was that it signed by one of the other guys associated with the group and somebody pulled the mei to try and get a "den Nobuie" designation to try and sell it for more (which is better than the alternate theory that some idiot thought( or got told) it was mumei and had the mei pulled for that reason). Best, rkg (Richard George)
  10. Piers, My bad, I thought you were talking about how the tsuba were being pictured, not a tsuba display stand to hold tsuba in the "blade down" position. I apologize - I don't think I've seen an old display stand like that either. Most of the time when I display them I used the box bottom and its trivial to just turn it upside down or have peg in the exhibition display made blade down. Of course, since this display stuff/"box thing" is for the most part a modern phenomenon anyway. They started showing up with the nifty boxes with hakogaki in ~Meiji and later to spiff the kodogu up for sale/as a gift/etc... If you look at old Daimyo collections, kodogu they cared about were usually just wrapped in several of pieces of washi, one of which was often the description of what it was/Goto origami/etc (if they were lucky) - often tsuba were just strung like beads on rope or stacked up on a spike in the kura - or just stuffed/klanked together in a bag and left in the bottom of the strong box part of a tansu. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  11. Hi, Has anybody recently used EMS from Japan to the US? Is it moving at less than a glacial rate now? I've always been counseled that you have the fewest customs hang ups with higher dollar pieces using EMS, but when I used them back in January it took several weeks to get a package from Japan to the US. I've had problems in the not too distant past with DHL lodging my higher dollar items in their expensive customs box hotel while they ask for redundant information, and... Thanks, rkg (Richard George)
  12. Charles, The real deal is usually displayed edge down, though often they get shown the other way around (blade up) after hitsu have been added (piece has been visibly repurposed). Piers must be looking in the wrong books - I've got a shelf full of them with actual tachi tsuba generally being shown edge down/its what I'm generally told to do when I shoot them - or did Piers get turned around and mean he couldn't find any shown blade up? Its kind amusing actually - they tend to re-label tachi tsuba that have been modified with hitsu as something else (if soft metal its often tachishi or even ko-kinkou). Best, rkg (Richard George)
  13. rkg

    Tachi Tsuba?

    Jon, If you want to go down the rabbit hole on tachi tsuba/tachi koshirae in general... There's a bit of a blerb in torigoye's book Tsuba Geijutsu kou - Haynes's xlation is available, as well as the odd old tachi koshirae/tsuba image spread out across numerous Japanese books on the subject, but as a place to start I'd suggest getting a copy of Markus sesko's Koshirae taikan - he goes through the various types of koshirae through the ages (and if you get the e-book you can blow up the images...) - you can get it from him directly I think and its on lulu as well: https://www.lulu.com/search?adult_audience_rating=00&page=1&pageSize=10&q=koshirae+taikan&project_type=EBOOK Otherwise Geraint's brief description covers it - tachi koshirae were meant to be worn blade down and the tsuba often have a shape conducive to that (less width at the bottom than the top), generally used O-seppa (often made of leather early on - and during the Nambokucho period a lot of the tsuba were made of leather as well), and the old ones pretty rarely (or never depending on who you talk to) had hitsu (though they got added a LOT later as the tsuba got re-used). and... and the really old ones often weren't that big. I don't currently have any of the archaic (shitoji) pieces, but here's a examples of other styles: kamakura period: Nambokucho-muromachi period: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  14. Dan, FWIW, that's Jim Gilbert's blog. As he notes, there's a whole class of cast tsuba that are generally thought to be pretty old - just google kagamishi tsuba (鏡師 鍔) to find more to study. A lot of them have the coarse figures on them as shown, but... some of them can be pretty well done - here's an old one that you have to look at a little before you realize it was cast: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  15. Bob, Did the seller actually state it was edo period/authentic in his writeup, or did he use the usual "I don't know what this is, do your own due diligence" verbage? If its the former, you might be able to contact buyee, point out that the guy lie-er, was mistaken about its age/authenticity, and ask them to ask the seller to take it back (though that's a long shot unless they really buggered their listing). Best, rkg (Richard George)
  16. and just for grins two more that seem to be crowd pleasers: 11. pretty generic mei, but... 12 and last but not least, an oh-no: Happy Holidays, rkg (Richard George)
  17. continuing.... 6. Really Nice Kyou sukashi: 7. Mokume and made by a swordsmith: 8.sadahiro 9. old kagamishi 10. I don't know what it is (probably myouchin I'd guess), but I like it: rkg (Richard George)
  18. Since its (almost) the end of the year, let's see what treasures you've acquired this year - I seemed to have gotten entirely too many pieces this year, but here are some of the top ones, in no particular order: 1. Killer kanayma: 2. Monkey/moon themed ko-shouami: 3. and just to make your skin crawl, here's a millipede themed tsuba attributed to Myouchin: 4.Kodai Jingo 5."ume" tada: Enjoy, rkg (Richard George)
  19. The first one makes me think of looking down on a Dalek :-) rkg (Richard George)
  20. The other day it struck me how the composition of ebay kodogu fittings has changed over the years. Back in the day most of these er, foreign made utushi were listed out of China - now they are all pretty much listed by sellers from Japan. Between that, the Japanese re-listings of items on Yahoo!Japan (both by the actual owners of the pieces and arbitragers), and the large number of pieces out of Japan with very er, market leading prices (not sure why they do this - fine if you want to dicker, but starting out the piece at several times what it "should" sell for? Really? Maybe they get enough bunnies to make it worth it) its too bad you can't just block certain countries - used to be I'd want to block listings from China, now I'm wondering if it might be more productive to just block the Japanese ones rkg
  21. Glen, I personally kind of think the sekigane on that piece is real, but there does seem to be something odd there - the carving has problems as you point out, there's those odd divots in the surface, etc - could it have been corroded and cleaned up, some kind of period casting, or....? what's odder is that it "rated" Tok Hoz papers. I mean, I guess the condition is OK, but that shigetoshi isn't listed in my "usual suspect" mei book*, so he's probably a lesser known tsubako, etc. The seller seems to have up a number of other er, lackluster (IMHO) pieces with Tok Hoz papers as well. I guess its another "what actually allows a piece get TH papers isn't what we think" moment. I should note that the seller seems legit I am in no way trying to say they aren't, I just can't figure out how some of these kodogu got higher level papers: https://auctions.yahoo.co.jp/seller/yokohama_chishin_net Best, rkg (Richard George) *Markus sesko's excellent translation of the mei book whose name escapes me at the moment - the electronic copy is searchable and makes finding the guys when they are noted in the Japanese auctions a snap (gotta love cut and paste) - highly recommended - he might sell a pdf directly if you ask (contact him directly on that), but here's a link on lulu to the physical book: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/markus-sesko/signatures-of-Japanese-sword-fittings-artists/hardcover/product-1mwe2v6y.html?page=1&pageSize=4 Not deliberately trying to threadjack here but... As an aside, you can do the same thing with his e geneaologies of Japanese tsuba and tōsō-kinkō Artists book (same thing - searchable kanji is great for those of us who are getting old/suffering from CRS and can't seem to memorize/remember the up to 8 different pronunciations associated with those 2000+ kanji of interest anymore :-/ ). rkg EDIT: again, to be fair, the seller has other papered pieces where IMHO the Tok Hoz papers seem right, like this yondai yasuchika - the back/end is a bit beat up, but....: https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/c1021388601
  22. Glen, Just to be clear This isn't my piece (I wish it was). I shot it for somebody else and was given permission to show the images for discussion purposes. Because of the pretty overt Christian symbol its an amazing study piece because you -know- it wasn't mounted after about 1637 (unless one had a death wish). Note that there was a fair amount of missing inlay, even from un-corroded/un-worn surfaces on it. We'll probably never know if it was a fashion/wabi sabi thing, the owner yanked the bits that were tearing at clothing, or what. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  23. Johan, Hoo boy, that's a lot of material to cover... you might start by getting a copy of Markus Sesko's Koshirae Taikan - he does a pretty good job of covering the various styles of koshirae and when they were used. I had gotten an electronic copy a while ago but hadn't really looked at it much until I was researching a piece I -thought- was an old naginata tsuba but -actually- was a Kamakura period tachi tsuba, but I digress: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/markus-sesko/koshirae-taikan/ebook/product-1gg5dkp6.html?page=1&pageSize=4 I love his e-books because they are searchable (including the kanji), and you can zoom in on the images and see a lot of details, but I digress again. Tachi koshirae kind of quit being used in battle regularly during the Muromachi period*, but tachi koshirae were made up until the Meiji period as "dress" pieces (for court in some occasions, the imperial family usually wore an archaic version, etc etc). In addition, there was a b*stardized version of the tachi koshirae called Handachi that was similar but was meant to be worn blade up that you see right up to the end of the Edo period - they typically had the large seppa, etc. If I had to guess, that's what I'd say your piece is (despite its decayed condition, it doesn't look -that- old to me, doesn't have a lot of layers, they built up the mimi with lacquer, it has kozuka/kogai hitsu that kind of look ubu, etc - though ymmv on that - there's one that is in the elephant book that is dated fairly early (momoyama? can't remember now) that might have had lacquer work done to build up the surface (just can't tell until you see it in hand, right?)). Forensically you can look for the brown undertone in the black lacquer, what the crazing looks like, etc - or you can get it carbon dated (kind of cool that these actually -can- be carbon dated, but...). Sometimes they have an iron layer in the middle, sometimes not. - seems like most of the really old survivors had the iron plate in the middle, had a fukurin that held it together, or were small. Intact ones made before the early Edo period are really rare, as they pretty much all delaminate and usually are lost at that point (and it seems to be a fairly destructive process - I've seen a nambokucho period tsuka/seppa set where the seppa are cupped outward from the nakago ana/tsuba surface, apparently by the action of the nerikawa tsuba as it fell apart over time - they must swell at the same time). Good Luck, rkg (Richard George) *outside of the Ainu, etc anyway
  24. rkg

    Fake patina?

    John, Its pretty shiny so I'd posit that its waxed. Best, rkg (Richard George)
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