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Tanto54 last won the day on September 7 2021

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    George M

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  1. Dear Roger, the Edo castings are usually sand castings and have surfaces like cast iron (unless significantly worked after casting). The kinko modern castings are often made using vulcanized rubber molds and wax injection to make the models and then spin or vacuum casted. Those techniques leave traces like spurs, mold lines, positive bubbles (like tiny dew drops on the surface - especially in crevices), porosity, etc. that are different from the old ways of casting. However, they can copy details down to the level of fingerprints, so they are often difficult to spot. Those modern molding techniques have only been around for 30-40 years, so the tsuba showing those telltale signs are modern fakes. Other signs are the painted on gold/silver highlights that show up on many of them, cast in place sekigane or plugs, and the identical "damage" on multiple copies.
  2. Thanks Glen, one other thing to remember is that many of the Japanese experts are not well versed in these cast fakes either (it is a different skill set - more in the realm of gold-smithing than in tsuba kantei), so mistakes can be made (even by the best...)
  3. Dear Glen, you probably already know this, but just to clarify for others, almost all of the cast items that are being talked about here are modern fakes (from the last 30 years) and are not the kind of "mirror" or Edo castings that the NBTHK is talking about.
  4. I'd spend the money on the best restoration possible instead of papers. In my opinion (for whatever that is worth...), it doesn't need papers, he's not one of the top names and the good quality of the work speaks for itself.
  5. OK, one last try... Item 181 is a komainu - see photos below and compare to Bob's tsuba... Note the similar two pronged horn in the one photo (also same claws, face, teeth, tail, legs, etc. etc.) Bob's Tsuba: Komainu (see two pronged horn?) and Shishi: Another Komainu (single pronged horn in this case, but it doesn't matter - see claws, tail, face, etc.):
  6. Item 181 is a Koma-inu (a "lion dog") which evolved to look very much like a Shishi (a "lion") but with an added horn.
  7. Hi Bob, on item 180, I found him in Haynes, Sesko Signatures and Wakayama signing Doshu-ju Kuniyoshi circa 1800.
  8. Happy New Year Bob! Both are lovely New Year Tosogu, but that Tiger is especially awesome!!!
  9. @Brian You gave me a good laugh! Here's a real one from MFA Boston. Three Sake Tasters which morphed from the Chinese Three Vinegar Tasters. Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi (representing Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism) each taste the sake/vinegar and have a different reaction (sour, bitter, sweet) revealing their different underlying principals and approach to life (despite the fact that they are tasting from the same vat (representing life).
  10. Hey Bob, your Item 170 looks like it has a signature but I can't make it out in the photo (might need to see it in hand). Instead of a daikon, the hitsuana are hossu. A hossu is a priest's fly-whisk, and they symbolize the priest's right to pass on the teachings of Buddha. The large carved kanji appear to be a poem or proverb, and based on a quick look, I see the following: flowers/petals, floating, under, water, moon, heart. You may want to put a photo in the translation section and see if anyone can double check those characters. The meaning may be akin to the proverb Kyoka Suigetsu: "flower seen in the mirror, moon on the water's surface". Something like Zen the teaching of a monkey reaching for the moon's reflection in the water. Some warriors saw themselves as the monkey and therefore interpreted this as a warning against foolishness or unattainable dreams, and other warriors saw themselves as the moon that could not be touched by another's sword. The hossu hitsuana point to the authority to pass on the important learnings of this proverb.
  11. Hi Bob, Item 173 (dragon) is by Kunishige, and yes he worked in Hirado in Hizen province. Haynes says there are two or three generations signing with this mei from the early 1700’s. Wakayama says that they rarely used a Kao / Kakihan, but when they did it took one of two forms (yours is one of those forms).
  12. BTW @paul_tsuba_info I really like your "Tsuba Info" site - very informative (https://tsuba.info/schools/). Great for helping people understand the different tosogu schools and some of the more famous makers. Hope you continue to add to it!
  13. Hi Paul, "Tokusei" is read as Norikiyo, and he was a student of the Yokoya School (and is copying Somin's famous Shishi design here).
  14. Dear Bob, I really like the modeling of the tree on 165 too - has a great, ancient feel. Does 166 have a faint checkerboard pattern or just vertical lines? I think I remember a very nice tsuba in this shape with a faint checkerboard pattern in one of the famous old collections. I'll try to find it. I've been on vacation, so I'm really looking forward to looking back at all the treasures that you've posted while I was away!
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