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Mantis dude

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  1. Hi John, I'm going to try and frame this in how I see it because if you were to say more refined piece, I and I think most would look immediately to the Akasaka piece. What I see is comparing a rembrandt to holiday inn wall art. I hope that illustrates where I am coming from? Not trying to be an ass, it's just how I see the pieces more or less and frames the conversation better in terms of collecting tsuba. A more refined piece would not use homogeneous metal (nanban/namban is foreign steel not sure that is what you meant to say?), as later works might have used. The evaluation of a piece doesn't change, just the amount of quality pieces does (more tourist art/ lower quality in late edo). In general, when I think of reproductions, I think of it being cast, machine made pieces aren't much of an issue in comparison. As a general rule of thumb, I would be looking for signs of casting. I had an older casted piece which was very different than the modern stuff. Wasn't as obvious and fooled many. It wasn't until I started looking closely at the details that it became more apparent that it was cast. It came off a wakizashi that had been mounted for many decades, I'm guessing at least from WWII if not older. Actually, it wasn't until i had a 2nd one that I questioned it. Since then I occasionally will see one for sale and almost always it is sold as "real tsuba" from the edo period. Best of luck,
  2. Hi John, I am not online a lot sadly but I saw your post for obvious reasons. First off, congrats on owning one of the coolest themes out there (no bias on my end). Mantis Rule! That being said, this is a very common design layout. Each school has their version of it, well, many do. Specifically to this exact version with what you called "three dimensional", I would say rather than 1 artist, my guess is that many artists made these. The more realistic depictions are most likely later edo so I would agree with you on dating. It isn't Akasaka. They didn't do inlay (as far as I know). I would think you statement about the tadatora would make many collectors head explode. Something you can't do in pictures is understand the iron/metal a tsuba is made with and how it's forged. That is an important ingredient in understanding and collecting tsuba. There is some writing by Dr. Torigoye in the Haynes catalogs on this subject (I believe reprinted from famous/respected writings). Perhaps someone else can add where to read other than in the Haynes catalogs. In the writings (going off memory), to understand tsuba you have to understand the metal first, aesthetic design is the 2nd component (not the first). To put simply, I don't think you are going to find any experienced collectors to agree with your statement. Specifically to your tsuba, it honestly isn't anything special. The carving isn't that crisp and my guess is the metal isn't anything grand. The transitions from the mantis to the rim aren't finished that well. There are issues with the tsuba and to put it bluntly your tsuba is not more refined than the tadatora. Your statement about tekotsu or corrosion is a bit misplaced. If someone machine made it, corrosion could be added. It goes back to the iron. I think you should not be worried about machine made but more casted tsbua. Although I don't think it is, it could be. Sometimes in hand is the only way to tell. Saying it is more refined than what is considered a masterpiece is a bold statement and shows you have a ways to go on learning (not that I don't). Before you take it personally, I do like the tsuba and have held several just like yours. At best the tsuba is middle of the road. Some of my favorite tsuba are in this zone although as I continue to learn and get the occasional opportunity to hold tsuba done by masters you get a better understanding of where these tsuba really are. I am in probably the same boat as you that I don't have opportunities to hold pieces with a teacher. I have held enough quality tsuba to know that you need to hold them in your hand. Books and pictures have limitations. My best guess to a school is bushu/choshu based on once seeing a signed very similar tsuba. Best of luck,
  3. saw this http://www.finesword.co.jp/sale/kodougu/htm/2001_3000/2901_2950/2945/k2945.html- aizu shoami signed piece.
  4. Very cool. I can't afford to keep up with fittings let alone guns, although I do have a nice hat and a few maedate to go along with it. The complete Kamakiri (mantis ) samurai. lol.
  5. Steve M was kind enough to translate the seller's comments So it seems the edge is the main issue of contention. I will look through all the tsuba pictures I have saved and see if any similar pieces were papered or at least given different attributions.
  6. Thanks Steve, I appreciate the translation. Wanted to make sure I was getting the proper read on what they were saying. With so many Mino pieces out there or I should say so many pieces with the insect autumn flowers/grasses design out there, this might have implications for people's collections. Thanks again. Ken
  7. I was hoping to get a good translation so I can move onto the implications of what was said. Since most would look at the tsuba and say mino without a thought, now we have a thought that isn't widely held by others. The rest I would continue on in the tosogu section.
  8. In the tosogu section I posted a tsuba I would have thought was Mino but papered Kyo kinko. http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/20560-interesting-mino-vs-kyo-kinko/ I was hoping to get a better translation from the original website writeup. I think the explanation why it isn't mino is there and requires a more exacting translation than the web programs do. Hope not an issue posting in 2 spots and I will copy to other post. The translation needed is from here http://cgi.shoubudou.co.jp/tuba-776.html 京金工とは江戸時代に赤銅等の色がねを使用して制作されているもので、各派の顕著な流派と極められない金工を総称していい、かなり広範囲な極めといえます。  本作は切羽台や櫃穴の小縁は鋤残しの技巧となっており、図柄をみても美濃と思われる作品ですが、耳が鋤残されていない点や図柄の彫り方などから京金工との極めになったのではないかと推測されます。しかしながら小窪健一氏の著書「金工美濃彫」の中には江戸後期になると美濃彫の掟からはみだしたものもあるとして鋤残しのない鐔も紹介されており、この点からみても、この作品も江戸後期の美濃の作と言えるのではないかと思われます。秋草秋虫、櫃穴やその小縁にも多くの金色が使用されており誠に華やかな作品です。 Thanks. Ken
  9. Hi all, I will do some image searching but there are poorly done mino or should I say not high quality mino. Not all Mino are shakudo. They definitely worked in copper and do an "imitation" shakudo- As an example http://www.ebay.com/itm/Superb-Mino-school-Japanese-Edo-18th-C-Samurai-Antique-Tsuba-Mantis-B890-/401109364541?hash=item5d63fb2f3d:g:GlcAAOSwAvJXBjgI. Although, Yamagane might be a material not attributed to the Mino school. I know another Yamagane piece that was attributed to Nagoya-mono from Owari (not sure was papered though). I will keep on looking. I have always wanted to try and peg down differences between Mino and Mino-goto. These attributions have been thrown about together but not sure they are clearly defined (no surprise there in this hobby). Now we have these other attributions, as I said this is the first Kyo Kino attribution I have seen on "mino" esque piece ie. insects & autumn grasses. It's definitely a case where I see similar pieces with different attributions. You can never take anything for granted!
  10. Hi all, I hope all are well, I haven't been around much. I came across this tsuba and was surprised to see it had papers to kyo kinko. Obviously, Mino comes to mind first and if not them I would have thought Nagoya-mono from Owari (Mino like tsuba attributed to them). But I was very surprised to see kyo kinko. It would help perhaps with a better translation. I have an idea of what it says but a more exacting translation would be helpful. This adds another name into what I think is becoming a confusing mix, especially when I think most of us would say Mino right away. Appreciate any comments. More pictures, Paper and comments can be found at http://cgi.shoubudou.co.jp/tuba-776.html Thanks. Ken
  11. These fittings are ok but for truly high class requires..... a Praying Mantis (of course). Even Better a Praying Mantis from the Kaga School. This Kozuka has NBTHK papers but Kaga attribution is obvious. In the auction catalog, it looked like there was scratches near the mantis. I asked and was sent clearer photos that showed the scratches were actually a fly in the mantis grip.
  12. lol you guys are right I'll stick to not understanding. Thanks for the help!
  13. Hi all, I came across this and am wondering what the auther is saying. The translation programs I am using lose me. I don't need word for word but a general idea of what is being said would be nice. Thanks. http://kituo81i.web.fc2.com/341.html 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具のとんでもない激安価格にドキッとした 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具が不意を突いたようなとんでもない価格で売っていたらどのような対応をとりますか? 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具はおそらく多くの人が今欲しいアイテムの中で一番を占めているはず。 もしそうじゃないとしたらココに来るはずがないですから。 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具が欲しいけど、その販売価格の高さから買うことを止めているのではないでしょうか。 実は私もその1人なのです。 良品と言われる商品はどれをとっても価格が高いというのはある意味、一般常識化していることです。 そんなことは承知していても、どうしても安くで手に入れたいというのがこちら側の言い分です。 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具 赤銅 金象嵌虫図 網代菱文鍔 刀装具を格安で手に入れられるというのであれば、多少困難なことでもやり遂げる自信がある。 と、そこまで大げさではないにしても、低価格で手に入るのであれば万々歳ですよね。 けど、買いものをするときに気になるのが、その値段と共に、それが確実に自分のモノに出来るかということではないでしょうか。 買ったはいいけど商品が届かないなんて事になったら目も当てられません。 それを踏まえるとやはり、信頼出来るところでのショッピングはとても重要になります。 そこで登場するのがヤフオク!です。 ヤフオク!は一般的な販売店とは違い、オークションを行うところですが、実際には普通のショップとそれ程違ったところはないのです。 そうはいっても、入札する人が増えてしまうとその分、落札価格が上昇してしまうのですが。 しかし、他のショップで購入するよりはかなり安く手に入れることが可能になるのです。 それに加えて、入札手数料が一切必要ないというのがヤフオク!の魅力でもあるのです。 これによって、なんの障壁もなくオークションに参加出来てしまうのです。 ちょっと前に、ネットオークションでの詐欺事件が問題になり、メディアでも結構採り上げられていました。 その手口は、絶対に落札できない商品を出品して、入札するときにチケットを買わせてその入札料をだまし取るというモノでした。 その結果、あなたもご存じの通り、犯罪行為として逮捕されたのです。 しかしヤフオク!はそのような事は絶対ないので、安心して利用できるのが売りになっています。 出品者もこれまでの経歴を見ることでどのようなものをオークションに出してきたか判断することが出来ます。 ヤフオク!に入札するのが不安という人はこの評価欄をチェックすることで安心できると思います。 絶対に手に入れたい商品を格安で手に入れるのであればヤフオク!以外無いでしょう。
  14. KAGA Kozuka Here is a rare opportunity to own a Kaga Kozuka. Kaga was a prolific and well respected sword fitting production center due in large part by the sponsorship of the Maeda family. The School is known for its high quality shakudo and terrific inlay. Here is an opportunity to own a kozuka from the edo period (18th/19th century). The kozuka is done in shakudo with typical kaga style inlays of gold and silver (and/or some other metals). The front of the Kozuka is a branch of blossoming peaches with leaves and flowers. It is very beautiful. On the back, it is often very common to find a kebori carving on a Kaga piece and true to form there is a fan with a large branch. Size is approximately 97mm x 14 mm x 5mm. I will consider trades with items that have a praying mantis. I am asking $600 + shipping. If using internet payment please add fees. I will ship worldwide but outside the US, I can not accept liability. Sold as is so Please ask questions. I have tried to capture piece in pictures but I am not the best photographer nor is my camera (there is some reflection on the shakudo among other places but I wanted to capture inlay). I think if you can appreciate quality work you will appreciate this kozuka. Thanks for looking! .
  15. I was lucky enough for Barry to share these photos since he had shared some other ones with me already. My eyes went to that tadpole tsuba. It just screamed movement to me and I found it very appealing (yes I can appreciate non mantis themes). Well done!
  16. Sorry Guys , I wanted to check messages but my neck had other ideas for me and it decided it didn't want me on the computer at all. I purposely left off my issues just to see what others said a lot of my questions probably could have been answered if I was holding it in person. The age was certainly an issue. And I wasn't so sure this was shakudo, I have seen blackened iron pieces that looked more like the piece. I even question Mino attribution and wanted to do more research but neck didn't want me looking at books either. The insect designs are not something I have seen in the mino style. in fact I know of a sukashi piece that has insects more like that I would put in the kyo something category or even I have seen echizan insects (there are a few non dragons) that have that design quality to them. Yes the initial impression in Mino but their are big stylistic differences that at first perhaps I didn't verbalize to myself but became more apparent to me as I thought about the piece. the searching I was able to do didn't change my mind. The last issue I had and I felt kind of weak on this one but a lot of insects legs/antennae, plant stems have these marks that I could see coming from casting. There is one insect that has a back done almost in the round (sort of looks like a tennis ball divided into three sections). The dividing marks didn't look crisp as I would expect. I was almost thinking that the piece could have been molded in parts and stuck on the plate. So there were a lot of issues that I was questioning and figured I ask to the group. As a side note A more traditional mino piece but with large mantis (most likely mid to late edo) just went for 126,000 yen the other day and this went for half that I believe. Anyway thanks for the feedback on what you guys thought. Neck is chiming in saying ok you had enough so I will get off the computer for now.
  17. this link was sent to me and at first glance I thought hmm not bad but it started bothering me what do you guys think? http://page2.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/b162793820
  18. There are a lot of different products to make castings these days that you can get at stores like michaels arts and crafts supplies. I have some clay like stuff, you mix the 2 colors together and then just press on the piece, makes a rubber mold in about 10 minutes. It you press correctly, you can get a very detailed mold. Have another material which is cool - they are plastic beads that when heated (dipping in hot water) basically melt together and can be used to create a hard plastic mold (you can reheat it to use over and over). I have used both to try and capture signatures that were hard to read and they were able to capture the detail. I know other products exist so in this modern era, making molds is fairly easy with a little practice to get air bubbles out you can mold fairly easily within 10 minutes on some products. When bored I will email people that are obviously clueless to what they have and fill them in, I think that seller needs to be educated but I don't feel like researching the piece at the moment.
  19. Just going back to casting vs. carving, I think you have to appreciate the Japanese culture. I am no expert in the culture but to this day the artistic creation is highly valued. As a society, they appreciated the skill of carving and were probably not as concerned with mass production (of course to a point but these aren't toyotas). Even mass produced items could be done by some decent copiers. Just from my readings and hearing things over time, I believe the Japanese society valued the attention to detail and dedicated work to perfecting their craft much more than pumping out volume. I just watched a documentary called Jiro makes sushi (not sure of exact title), basically the story of a man who dedicated his life to perfecting sushi. His place only seats 10 people and is in the subway- he is also the oldest man to receive a Michelin star. His sushi isn't fancy, yet there are layers to how he plans, prepares, and serves his sushi. He dedicated his life to that one thing and that idea carries over into many areas in the Japanese culture. Something I think we as westerners always forget (I am no different)- we must think like Japanese to fully understand how they operated and we make the mistake of applying our mentality/sentiments to a culture that can be very different. I hope you get the idea of what I am trying to say. You damn gaijin!!
  20. That is amazing! Thank you so much for your help and research. I would have never found that info ( I tried but google failed me- haha). Really interesting as well to find this on the kozuka for me. Thanks again! Best wishes.
  21. ok I am guessing based on combo of 2 signatures and I think the kao matches- tomotoshi of the mito - ichiryu school?
  22. Hi all, I don't like dipping into the translation well 2x in a week time but I am confused by this mei. The mei is laid out with kanji side by side. Do you read it left to right? Also can't get the middle kanji, assuming the one on the left is a kao either that or I need 1st 2 kanji (far right I can do)- tomo or yu. Thanks in advance.
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