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Tanto54

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Tanto54 last won the day on June 24 2020

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    George M

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  1. Hey Curran, you are correct, item 106 is 知熊 Chikuma or Tomokuma. Neither are listed in Haynes and frankly, it looks like a BS name to me... Translates to "Knowing Bears" - what is he, a Native American??? Very poorly cut mei, so I'm leaning towards BS....
  2. Matt, I second Michael - truly high class! That katakiribori carving is flawless - shows a true master's hand - no hesitation or halting cuts.
  3. Hi John, I don't think that the magnet test is really an indicator of fakes. As you know, many of the legitimate tsuba are not iron and will not attract a magnet, so the magnet test merely tells you whether the "tsuba" is attracted to a magnet or not (and therefore gives you a better idea of what the tsuba is made of). When I look at the tsuba in question, I think it is trying to emulate shakudo or shibuichi. Neither of those alloys would be attracted to a magnet, so the magnet test would not give any indication of whether it was fake or not.
  4. Your eye is getting better Jesse. There are many other indicators, but as Mark said the poorly painted gold and silver should tip you off right away. Another clear tip is the rough edge from casting/stamping. Another more subtle hint (one that is good to use for the better fakes) is that the signature (mei) looks pressed in (cast or stamped) instead of cut with a chisel.
  5. When the Museum of Fine Arts Boston made replica netsuke for sale in their gift-shop, they incised "MFN" deeply into the bottom of the Netsuke in a way that it could not be removed (they anticipated this resale problem...). Peter, you made the tsuba, so why not sign them with your name (deeply) so it cannot be filed away without leaving evidence? Similarly, Bruce could indelibly mark his fake in various places (once we are absolutely sure it is a fake - I get your point) before selling it with full disclosure. I also wonder whether we should attempt to ferret out some of the modern counterfeiters. Some of them are clearly making molds of authentic pieces and replicating them for sale on Yahoo Japan. These dealers in Japan also sell the originals, so it's not that hard to figure out who they are.... (a few of these Japanese Dealers are mentioned from time to time on the NMB...). Any chance of luring them to Saudi Arabia for a sale where they cut people's hands off for this kind of stuff? Just kidding - kind of.....
  6. Just a few thoughts on these so we don't miss out on possible hidden gems in the future. Tobacco pouch pins don't come in pairs, so the pairs above are not pouch pins. The lobsters have unusual pins (too thin for antique menuki) and shape, so they are probably modern pressed menuki for modern decorative swords. Menuki are often repurposed for Tobacco pouch pins, obidome (the decorative "buckle" on the thin rope that goes around a women's obi/belt on her kimono), Western broaches, etc. If you look carefully, you will see the vestiges of menuki posts (in the middle) on a few of the items in the picture and the later added two thin pins toward the edges (that shows that it is a menuki that was converted to a pouch pin). Finally, some menuki were glued on with pitch and never had any pin or post at all (see one above that appear to have their backs filled with pitch). I'm not saying any of these are gems, but you will often find great menuki that have been converted to other uses.
  7. Nice idea for a thread. Here's one of my oxen...
  8. Dear Jesse, older high level menuki often have rounded posts - one solid and one hollow (see photos below). Another sign of age and quality is Uttori (the use of thick gold foil instead of gold wash - see photo below from the backside of the tail of the Dragon from my menuki posted above) - you can tell that it is gold foil folding over the edge instead of being brushed on like paint.
  9. The Dragon Boat Menuki is about 2.5 inches long (a little over 6cm). The main body of the menuki is only about 1.75 inches, but the dragon tail adds another .75 inches to the length. Here's the back:
  10. Dear Kirill, I have seen household agency provenance paperwork on such Sadakatsu swords, so at least some were owned by the Imperial household. Of course, that doesn't mean that some of the others were not made and distributed as you say... (I don't know)
  11. Tanto54

    Christmas Quiz

    Thanks for the Quiz - very well done. I know the theme too, so I'll let others have some fun researching.
  12. I'd look for equal effort for the "tosogu" members (who could become the majority in the future...) Just to be clear, Paul, you obviously do a great job and this is not any kind of criticism (and yes, I know this is in the Nihonto section), but I often feel like almost everyone is focused on the blades and tosogu are an afterthought (or the redheaded stepchild) in many of these organizations.
  13. Like Curran, I'd like to see the insides. I'm intrigued by the differences in the nanako.
  14. Christian, Tell your friend that I can get a thousand more exactly like this if we wants to buy some more of these "treasures".....
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