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Steve Waszak

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Steve Waszak last won the day on September 7 2018

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About Steve Waszak

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    Jo Jo Saku

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  • Location:
    San Diego, california
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    iron tsuba, up to early-Edo

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    Steven Waszak

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  1. Thanks, Jean. Grev, sorry you missed that one. But there is more to come, as I am rearranging my collection a bit, so be on the lookout! Cheers, Steve
  2. Tsuba is SOLD. Congratulations to the buyer.
  3. And the close-up of the rippled plate:
  4. A few more images in different lighting...
  5. Offered is a maru-gata tsuba whose motif is the Chinese Zodiac expressed in beautifully-rendered kanji. The characters are manifested via an etching process in the iron. The skill required to manipulate the etching in order to achieve such classically expressive calligraphic characters in so sensitive a fashion is truly remarkable. The Zodiac motif is present on both sides of the sword guard. The plate itself comes across as quite dense, as the tsuba is heavy for its size. The etching process also reveals subtle ripples in the surface of the plate in some areas, indicating the construction method (see close-up photo). The hitsu-ana are carefully crafted, being well-placed and sized. Measuring 7.6cm and 3.5mm in thickness, the tsuba boasts a deep blue-black color. These etched sword guards have not received sufficient study, even in Japan, it seems. Many of them, such as the present example, are of a quality that invites focused scholarship. The lack of such scholarship makes it challenging to estimate a period of production here, but I believe this guard fits into an early-Edo Period (17th-century) dating. $350, plus shipping.
  6. Tsuba is SOLD. Congrats to the buyer.
  7. Still available. Priced now at $375, plus shipping. An excellent, early Tembo sword guard, and a bargain at this price.
  8. A few for Curran. Great idea to have RKG do the 360 treatment...
  9. Darcy's offerings are truly top-shelf. Thanks, Brian, for starting this thread. You're right, we do need to expose ourselves to high(est)-level items, whether in blades or tosogu, lest we begin to see the merely good as great, and the "merely" great as magnificent. In fittings, Darcy does favor the soft-metal side of things; however, he occasionally throws a bone to some of the early iron works. Fortunately for me. https://yuhindo.com/nobuie/
  10. Sanmai on that, Curran? Ah, yes, well that right there certainly changes things. Thanks for the good insight and education. Cheers, Steve
  11. Hi Bob, Yes, that's a nice one on Fred's site. In my somewhat limited experience with Ohno, that's about as large as I see them (and this one is larger than most). Shoami does seem to be the "grab bag" of tsuba attribution all right... That vertical stanchion would appear to be deliberately askew, which in my view adds much interest and more liveliness to the guard, not just for its resulting expression, but also in raising questions of the maker's intent. A good, solid tsuba, Bob. Well done.
  12. Hi Bob, Nice guard. Due to its size alone I would tend to doubt Ohno. I rarely see Ohno work larger than 7.5cm, and in fact, 7cm is more in keeping with what I usually see in tsuba attributed to Ohno. This piece reminds me of the very first tsuba I ever bought, roughly a million years ago now (in tsuba collecting years), pictured below (photos taken from Jinsoo Kim's site), and attributed to Shoami. There are differences, of course, in sugata and hitsuana shape, and the shape of the seppa-dai is markedly different, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were from the same "school." The size of this one is 8.8cm x 5mm. I think guards of this size are rather rare in the Edo Period, so I would place both of these in the pre-Edo years (16th century). My best guess, anyway. Cheers, Steve
  13. Hi Mikolaj, This tsuba ,in my view, is probably a later "homage" piece. The mei is certainly not that of any of the Momoyama Yamakichibei men, and it does not strike me as likely to have been done by either of the Norisuke smiths: not only is the stroke production quite different from the way the Norisuke inscribe the "Yamakichibei" characters when they make homage pieces, but also, the Norisuke smiths would usually (or always) also sign their Yamakichibei utsushi with their own names, too, often in so doing indicating the utsushi intent behind the making of the work (thanks to Curran for pointing this out to me 🙂). Further, the workmanship (metal treatment) does not align very tightly with the Norisuke Yamakichi guards I have seen. At the same time, the edges of the sukashi appear too crisp/sharp for genuine early Yamakichibei work. What's interesting about this guard, and one of the indicators that it is probably a later copy/homage work, is that there appears to be an effort to emulate the mei of the Shodai (not Yamasaka Kichibei or "O-Shodai, but the "Meijin Shodai"), yet the actual design and features are decidedly Nidai. The Shodai Yamakichibei did not use uchikaeshi-mimi or sukinokoshi-mimi, so the fact that we see that feature on a tsuba with a Meijin-Shodai-esque signature creates a contradiction. At the same time, there are other curious details. The width of the nakago-ana is rather noteworthy -- it seems quite wide, and, given the size of the tsuba overall, would seem to have been intended to accommodate a pretty substantial blade. The sekigane hint at the the possibility of the tsuba having been mounted at least twice. Both of these details may point to earlier production, but of course, we cannot reach any definite conclusions based on this. It looks to be a pretty well done utsushi, Mikolaj. Here is the tsuba I have that is very similar to it -- a Nidai Yamakichibei piece. Cheers, Steve
  14. Hi Kevin, Okay, very good. The tsuba is yours. Congratulations: it's a very appealing guard, and extremely well made. I shall mark it as "SOLD," then. Cheers, Steve
  15. Tuesday Price Drop Day: $300, plus shipping. 🙂
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