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Mantis dude

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  1. Usually i am way too far behind to comment or add things and i understand my limited participation these days on nmb i shouldn't be jumping in and commenting. however on reading this beware; i am wondering exactly what you are offering .... Sex for 2 70 yos? Do you except trades? Always looking for mantis themed fittings. Lol. You know you have a problem if you are becoming a street walker for fittings. Ok back to my cave.... However, i would prefer a trade with daughters of said septuagenarians... Depends on the fitting..
  2. Coincidentally i just found this, although i didn't really look at the signature and compare how it looks to other mei. https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/n506844828
  3. Hi all, Some additional potential names to cruise through. Wouldn't be the first time i just went through Haynes index, well in this case more names to go through. Something satisfying when you finally discover that first kanji in a name to solve the puzzle. Although very disappointing not to figure it out. Appreciate any more ideas, if they come to you. I'll share if i figure it out (actually did go through some of those variations although not completely). Thanks for the input. Ken
  4. Hi Piers, Thanks for the input. No, there isnt any other inscription that i can see in photos. Always a curveball out there. Thanks. Ken
  5. Hi Steve, Yes i agree this one is weird. Thanks for looking. Ken
  6. Hi all, I have been trying to translate this tsuba. I am not sure about the auction translation of hide yuki. I see there is a small character above hide not sure what that is. I could use the help with finding who this smith is. I have been trying to figure out kanji, this is what I have but I know not correct "心英兩可" +kao. The auction link is https://www.catawiki.com/l/39045283-tsuba-shakudo-Japan-late-edo-period Thanks. Ken aka "the Mantis Dude"
  7. Hi all, I have been slowly trying to catchup on posts but always get distracted and end up not "participating" in real time. Of course, someone was kind enough to let me know about this one. This is a well known design from the Shoami school (i know of a nbthk papered one). Design could be from early to mid edo, although have seen them labeled as ko shoami and they are repro'ing them currently albeit poorly.. Thank goodness. I can't remember but a museum has one online very similar and also have seen in a book (i think). I do believe this design is a representation of the famous Chinese fable of "mantis vs. Chariot" as Marius mentioned above. For more I refer you to https://www.freewebs.com/kamakiriken/symbolism2.htm All the best, Ken aka "the mantis dude"
  8. I remembered I had posted a similar question many years ago and found it. Just to show you more http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/9427-fuchi-stamp-can-you-id-it/?hl=%2Bfuchi+%2Binside+%2Bkanji&do=findComment&comment=95654
  9. Especially after the beer..... It had to be said:)
  10. Pete, Thanks for that. I am amazed that I didn't know that. However, reading many of the glossaries of fittings books, not 1 mentions the patination stage. They all say the same thing it's a Japanese alloy that is effected by the amount of gold content. always something to learn even the basics. This is a more technical question that I'm sure will have a "depends" answer but how thick is the patination layer to give us that black color? I saw the spot of copper coming through on this kozuka But I don't recall seeing this happening a lot. If it were more common i think I would have become more aware of the entire process a while ago. Still in shock from this true lapse in knowledge. Appreciate the insight. Thanks Ken E
  11. Hey Brian at al, As someone that occasionally looks for those all inspiring insects,aka the preying mantis, I usually will take a look at a piece if i see a wagon wheel (perhaps one of the biggest understatements I have ever typed) . However, the wagon wheel plays in other non mantis themes. Carriages are part of other lores. In this particular case, I don't see anything resembling a mantis. If those were mantis arms, claws would be at the ends. The head shape is wrong. Just about always there is a form of a triangle or something that comes close to that base shape. Wider at the top- coming to a smaller width if not a point at least a less wide flatter section. if the top of the head didn't exist, maybe but then there are no antenna. There is no neck which would be an important physical component before the body. If the body, there would be more legs. Now the famous legend of the mantis and the chariot has the chariot/cart carrying a king who decried if he had an army of these fearless creatures he would rule the world. I could get behind the king being depicted, although I don't see enough going on to describe this fable in the rest of the piece. There is the Buddhist dharma wheel which would make sense but I'm not sure this wheel looks like them. In conclusion, even for a guy that no matter what he sees becomes a mantid to me (play on tootsie roll). I just don't see it here. All the best, Ken aka "the mantis dude"
  12. Why do I have a different concept of shakudo? I didn't think it has to be patinated. The color comes from the mixture of the individual alloys. If I were to cut into a kaga piece would it not be a hunk of black metal? Not that I'm going to do that. All the ana's (hitsu, kogai, etc) are black. How it is polished gives the mirror black finnish. The rare sukashi shakudo tsuba is entirely in a black color. Was the entire piece patinated to get black? To me it would leave "spots" of worn color. I have an old mino shakudo tsuba that similarly i believed to be a massive hunk of shakudo. Obviously, I need more or better input. I had a fuchi kashira restored. It was black. However, the black was stripped and could not be replicated since the underlying base metal was copper, not shakudo and that particular pickling recipe was lost to time. Obviously, I have a different understanding which is not surprising but if I have it, I'm sure others can to. So do we have a bat phone for Ford? Thanks, Ken
  13. Dwayne and John, The spot in the back is exactly why I don't think it is made of shakudo and should have mentioned that as my rationale. It goes back to an inquiry I made a while back that black doesn't automatically equal shakudo. Boy could I use a book on how these things are made, pickled , colored, etc. Anyone know anyone with that know who could write it down? (That's a joke fyi). Jean, it has been abused and I guess that's part of why I posted: guesstimate on age would be nice. I have no plans to get it professionally restored. I also didn't pay a lot for it. I sort of consider the damage on the side as part of the kozuka history and was trying to think how it could happen. But I do love the dark shakudo the mantis is made of. And I wish I had the ability to show the gold through a loupe. It's hard to see from my photo, check that, impossible to see the gold of the insect wings but it is thicker than I realized and i feel like I could peel a chunk of gold off of it if I desired (i do not). As always I appreciate the comments. Thanks. Ken
  14. Hi all, I was curious about this kozuka (weird another mantis piece). It did remind me of another kozuka I saw before but would be nice to get input from you infamous characters. Obviously, there is shakudo and gold, other than the entire piece being non magnetic I'm not sure what the kozuka body is made of. Size is 76cm x 18cm x 7cm Close-up of the Kamakiri (mantis in Japanese) This kozuka has been around and you can see lots of damage on the side as if it had been slammed many times against a tsuba throughout its life. Yes it probably needs a cleaning but I didn't want to muck with it much at this point. I appreciate any and all comments... I think. Thanks. Ken aka "The Mantis Dude"
  15. I have seen a bunch of these on yahoo.jp among others for a while, i thought they are fake.
  16. This is an example from Christies auction 11/11/2008 lot 192 tsuba is labeled Mito. https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/arms-armor/a-group-of-twenty-four-tsuba-edo-period-5143818-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5143818&sid=6bd6c67b-3918-461e-9b49-33ca092107c4 Also was always curious about this other tsuba having identified the same mentioned schools as possible suspects
  17. Only after you arise from the ashes! There can only be one.......mantis dude!
  18. Chopping head of horse would obviously be a great thing to document on The sword. Would raise the value. I am thinking of calling Brooklyn and starting a horse head chopping service for nihonto. As for this tsuba,I have never seen a 1 sided tsuba. I have read about students creating pieces for their master. I have seen student work but they have always been finished pieces. I might be mixing up some comments with sword smithing but I thought there has been debate with older smiths that would add their name to pieces that their students did (if the quality was there). I'm pretty sure that tsuba exist signed by the student but with their masters name. These student signatures can be identified (goto school comes to mind). There are multi Smith made tsuba and maybe the 2nd Smith never got to it. I think these are usually higher quality items. Could be so many things but No matter, I think this has to be an outlier. This is an offer I could easily refuse. Forget about it !!
  19. i think I found one for sale. Although Google translate didn't mention rabbit. http://kyoto-yakata.net/item/netuke/n64.html Have to admit my favorite so far is the snake version. I must like "preying" animals.
  20. Mantis dude


    Ford et al, Appreciate the comments. I think one of the hardest things to tell especially with most of us having to rely more on the internet/books for learning is the identification of what type of metals are being used. And as some responses indicate there is a wide range of knowledge on the subject matter. Some responses in this and other forum topics clearly indicate that certain members studied subjects very different than my undergraduate political science major with a minor in film studies. So as I try to progress my studies, I have realized at times simple basic knowledge on base metals is lacking (among other areas). I have been fortunate to have held some pieces but I don't have a consistent way to learn hands on. Obviously, I'm not the only one. I have known since I started that hands on experience is a must. It has amazed me that you can feel quality in some pieces. Afterall, isn't Ford's studies bringing to light things we collectively didn't know or had been forgotten? And since Ford is busy enough and I don't think has time to show up at each of our houses to teach us I appreciate any clues or descriptions that can help me learn. Now I have a target for finding out the "gummy " feeling. Thanks for everyone's input and hope for more as time goes on. All the best Ken
  21. Mantis dude


    Hi all, As I have been catching up on posts, I started thinking about a fuchi kashira I had. The f/k was black but had condition issues. It was cheap and I Sent it one of Ford's disciples to restore it. Turned out it wasn't shakudo at all, actually was copper and it didn't go back to black. The coloring formula lost to the ages (maybe). I use to think black = shakudo. With the f/k in mind , as well as, mino fittings that try to mimic shakudo I started thinking that there must be more out there. So my next question is how do you tell if it really is shakudo or not? Ignoring the shakudo quality subject unless relevant to the conversation. Any hints or suggestions would be much appreciated.
  22. Faking is not modern. All those meiji period tourist pieces are antiques now. I have a kozuka, I got it for the design (yes a mantis was involved) early in my collecting. Didn't pay a lot, also didn't pay a lot of attention to it. A few years ago, purchased a dinner knife/kozuka (assumed it was meiji). Again, it was for the design. The dinner knife reminded me of something but I wasn't sure of what. When I received the dinner knife, the handle had the same design on either side and I realized why the design was familiar- it was exactly the same as the kozuka i had purchased many years ago (coloring differences did obscure it a little). Made me realize I really have to pay attention to all purchases. The kozuka version was old, I knew it wasn't a national treasure but I still thought it was a "real" kozuka. Casting never crossed my mind. A good lesson and luckily not an expensive one. So not only do you have an influx of newer repros but you also have over a hundred years of repros continually hitting the market. One thing I have found useful at times is when you do find a store selling modern stuff take a look around the inventory. Seeing one of those designs on an auction can help raise your alarm bells. Most of the time you can tell but I come across a few items where I might have had a harder time telling in photos. Anything that makes you more aware can help. Happy hunting
  23. Am I seeing remnants of a signature? Best Ken
  24. Not sure if this applies but I was given a book on Japanese garden design from a distant cousin who when alive was a major collector of bonsai trees. She had interesting stories like when she was flying back from Japan with a 200 year old bonsai on her lap- obviously this was back in the 1960 or 70's. The purpose of the zig zag bridge is to slow you down, make you take your time, pause and enjoy the scene or this case enjoy the irises.
  25. I agree. I have seen this style many times. Seeing an attribution to bushu is an important data point for me since I haven't seen a lot of these assigned to a school. Once or twice i have seen them labeled akasaka but they don't inlay in gold so I knew that wasn't correct. Always appreciate links thanks. Ken
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