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    Coos Bay, Oregon USA
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    Reading, Bridge, Research

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    john c .twineham

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  1. Hi Jean: I looked up the same entry in the Varshavsky collection that you referenced; originally it was what gave me hope the piece is genuine. Fortunately, as long as the piece pleases the collector, real or fake really only matters when their estate is being auctioned off after their demise, lol. Also have another tsuba that I got from the same seller on JAUCE that I like far better, but it will spark controversy, ridicule, appreciation, or some combination of the 3 on this board, so i am hesitant to present it. If there is some way I can send you the pictures, I would appreciate your opinion of whether I have departed sanity or not (I am unfamiliar with the mechanics on the board to send single person communications). It does have the best patina of any piece I have acquired or held in hand; truly wet like the surface of a glistening black pond when well lit. Interesting how patina looks like under 20x magnification; what looks black is a light absorbing black brown rust, and the look of wetness is from tiny specks of reflective iron/steel peeking through the rust, like nie on a blade. Once again, thank you! John Twineham
  2. The bright brass was when the tsuba was angled towards sun; the dim was taken indoors. Took more pictures, but my computer occasionally insists I have insufficient memory when I download pictures that i emailed to myself from my cellphone, and will not display them. In any event, I like this one; it would really be nice if it is not just a later period copy of an onin tsuba, so commentary either way will be welcome. 7.7x7.6 cm, .33 cm thick rim and .25 cm thick in the seppadai. John Twineham
  3. Contacted JAUCE about this; it is perfectly acceptable as far as they are concerned. The problem (I think) is private deals can occur with large volume bidders; lets say you have a limit bid of 25,000 yen, but the auction only goes to 16,000 yen (and you are leading bidder). The dealer knows another dealer who will pay the price he wants, 20,000 yen. Piece is pulled, deal is made, and since JAUCE can not legally divulge a bidders maximum offer, your willingness to pay 25,000 yen does not get you the item. JAUCE says the reason is that they do not allow "reserve" prices, so anytime you see an item at 1, 100, 1,000 yen as a starting price (to encourage auction fever), be aware that the if the final price is "too good to be true", it will be pulled. The only dealers that do not do this either start with a high initial auction price, or have an even higher initial auction price and a BIN price. Have run into this on at least 4 occasions in the last 4 months where I was highest bidder; one time I bid 14,503 yen; the dealer pulled and relisted it on his site with a starting bid of 144, 999 yen at end of auction. John T.
  4. Perhaps a different slant on the tsuba at the 1972 Dallas show. My teacher, Blaine Navroth, was there and remembers additional information. After the fake tsuba were papered, the comments about production were made, and, according to Blaine the creator (perpetrator?) presented some authentic Muromachi period tsuba to the shinsa; the shinsa then papered them all as late EDO; what goes around comes around. Perhaps this is poorly recollected by him after 50 years, but still an interesting alternate story. john twineham
  5. second picture; tsuba is 7.05 cm high by 6.86 cm wide; thickness is .56 cm at edge and .46 cm at seppa dai. Listed weight on sale site was 83 grams with dimensions of 7.0 x 6.8 x .5. john
  6. Thoughts on origin? Two small files are from sale pictures; other is in hand in natural sunlight; attempted to crop but for some reason the program would not show the cropped pictures. Will send reverse side in following. john
  7. jct3602


    John, I have seen a papered daisho belonging to Blaine Navroth in which some of the work was obviously not done by the master; exactly the same theme, but the stonework in the walls of the sho was done differently; there were also other small technical differences between the dai and some of the sho, although the scene is the same on both. For example, if the buyer wants a daisho in x amount of time (deadline), and the master has x-(some period of time), does he tell the buyer that he can not do it? In a perfect world, yes; in reality, he has his best student do some of the work on the sho. The buyer is always right. Art is great, but it was done to put rice on the table. So, is a daisho in which some of the work on one piece is not done by the master still a daisho? Just a thought. Blaine just told me he has 3 other daisho in which the pieces were made at different times, 2 of those in which the sho was made later by different makers; one papered with a 72. My own opinion is that my pair are not a daisho; just a fortunate acquisition of two nice tsuba. Would have been great to hear a shinsa team"s opinion; second question, is if presented as a daisho, and rejected as a daisho, would they have said resubmit the individual tsuba, or would they have made some comment on the authenticity of the tsuba in the pink? paper. Two more comparison pictures showing small differences by stacking. john
  8. jct3602


    Quite true, which is why the question mark. However, if you had a 62 cm katana and a 56 cm wakazashi, how different in size should the tsuba be? I was skeptical also; these are probably both from the same pattern book, though by different producers; they are virtually identical in overall size, the small open areas are different in size on the two. At a shinsa, if presented as a daisho, do you feel that it would be bounced? Sadly, the Burlingame Shinsa was cancelled; I was going to find out; well someday later (hopefully). Thanks; John
  9. jct3602


    An unexpected daisho. Thoughts?
  10. jct3602


    I presented it to the board first; before the show; did not agree with Ford, etc. but kept my mouth shut. I am willing to believe I could be in error; figured Brian Tschernega, Robson (an NTHK judge), and Markus Sesko were a reasonably competent group to show it to in person. I talked in the bar to Haynes, but that was Thursday night before set-up. If I had had it with me then I would have shown it to him. Also was going to show it to Yoshindo, who is making some great tiny tsuba, etc., but he left early on Saturday. Some of you may know Blaine Navroth, Stephen Strauch, and Michael Bell, each of whom have been deeply involved in Japanese swords and furniture, for longer than those of you younger than 55 have been alive; they had the same opinion as the 1st 3 gentleman i mentioned. No one gave me a negative opinion; not one that had it hand. However, this board supposedly is for scholarly discussion, not ego; sadly it does not always rise to that level. Sterile technique seems to be valued over art; the cave paintings in France would be dismissed by this board as crude, since they were done probably by charcoals in firelight. john twineham
  11. Henry, thank you for the reference! Had not thought of wikipedia, but the description of elegance in the article is quite appropriate. Have only had it for a couple of days, but I can see where the simplicity, strength, and flowing curvature would have influenced Higo tsuba. A pleasure to look at it; a "gift that keeps on giving". john twineham
  12. John, Thank you! john twineham
  13. jct3602


    Hi George: That is what Markus Sesko also thought at first: the blow up pictures are to illustrate. His original thought was perspective as was yours, however , the carving goes all the way down to the base material. Date Masamune was known as the "one eyed dragon of Oshu"; he supposedly did not even wear a patch in battle. He went blind in his right eye from infection around age 5 or 6, and supposedly plucked out his blind orb or had one of his samurai pluck it out, so it could not be grabbed in battle (around 18-22?) Anyway, I could be easily wrong; but an interesting theory/possibility. Yours, John Twineham
  14. jct3602


    Hi Jeremiah - no, a mercury amalgam with gold; probably the most common way to "paint" with gold coloration, but I am no authority on jeweler's arts; ask Ford. Have been told it can be dangerous, with mercury being toxic. A few more pictures; 224125 is from the kashira, a poor photo hugely enhanced of the dragon eyes, the other 3 of the fuchi, one extremely enhanced of the eyes. Both to demonstrate the socket Yours, john twineham
  15. The dealer, who I have known for years at the San Francisco Token Kai, specializes in Tsuba (at incredible prices, I might add), thought it was a mid or late Muromachi Shoami when i bought it from him. At the price (including a custom box with carved cushion and perfect nakago ana support), was so absurdly low that it did not matter at all, whatever it is, for the quality, even without the box, and usually crappy pieces do not have $200 boxes. Now do I get to know??? Thank You! John Twineham .
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