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Everything posted by watsonmil

  1. Dear Ted, You can have mine ( son ) but not my grandson though ! ... Ron Watson
  2. Dear All, Can any one identify this particular Mon ? ... Ron Watson
  3. Dear All, I am very fortunate in that the Insurance Company I use, ... I've used the same company all my life. They agreed to insure my collection as part of my household contents. All they asked was for an itemized listing of all items and the values I put on them. I have All Peril Insurance so am covered for Fire, Theft, Water Damage, etc. The company sent over a representative to see how they were stored ( on display ). He said in over 40 years you've never had a claim and although technically we could ask you to take out a Fine Arts Floater but we will in consideration of your patronage overlook this. As he pointed out ... if your home burns ... it matters little if its furniture or swords and we still get extra premium because of the increase in household contents value. Then he went on to say as far as theft goes, ... anyone stealing this stuff would be a fool as they would be caught too easily. The trouble with most Insurance Companies are they are like the rest of big Corporations and Governments .... they are ALL greedy to take advantage of the consumer. I am one of the VERY LUCKY few and NO, ... I will out of mutual respect not divulge the name of the Insurance Company outside of saying they are honest and fair and understanding. Really at the cost of a Fine Arts Floater, ... most people would be better off with a good SAFE and a handy revolver ( or if a UK resident a Safe and pre-paid Funeral Arrangements ). ... Ron Watson
  4. Now for some questionable and/or outright fake TEPPO NETSUKE : PHOTOGRAPH number 1 is questionable as to being genuine. If genuine it is of the Meiji era and probably made for the Tourist or Export market. Note the ring is correctly placed, ... but the barrel is not only CAST but the deep pitting and rust ( patina ) is extreme ... leading me to have suspicions. I would have to remove the barrel to see if this is as badly corroded before I would consider it genuine. This next netsuke ( PICTURE NUMBERED 2 ) due to the sizing of the photograph does not look quite the same as the netsuke in PHOTOGRAPH # 1, but it is practically identical when not squashed by my shrinking the size of the original photograph. Probably from the same workshop as the previous example, .... certainly no earlier than Meiji and to my eyes questionable until dismantled to examine the underside of the barrel and if as rusty ... then little doubt but a TOURIST piece meant for export and in my eyes not a true Netsuke. This next netsuke ( PICTURE NUMBERED 3 ) NOTE : The HIMOSHI ( cord ring in this case ) is too far back to have balanced the weight of the Powder Flask ( Sagemono ) in this example, which makes the Netsuke Teppo subject to question. The Japanese Netsuke makers were very careful about how placement of the cord hanging attachment, and this is just wrong. Also, ... the flask has been erroneously drilled ( cord attachment hole ) in wrong place for a powder flask ( the powder is going to leak out and NO the owner stated there is no tube to stop this from happening ). Done no doubt to make a more saleable ensemble. A very suspicious set. I could go on and on with pictures of questionable netsuke and outright fakes, ... but I think this should be enough to give you an idea. By the way many NETSUKE COLLECTORS would because they want to believe that anything supporting a Sagemono is genuine so long as it does the job and isn't made of resin is still a netsuke would almost certainly call these Netsuke .... SADLY. Thank God, ... Nihonto and Teppo and Kodogu collectors are not quite so naïve. Now just having an email from Piers, ... I should state that NOT ALL genuine TEPPO NETSUKE are working models. There are many that are of varying qualities. One must judge the workmanship, wear, wear-ability as well before making too rash of a judgement. Thank you Piers for bring my attention to this oversight when doing this article. I have deliberately left out any number of examples which can be found on eBay as although a genuine example shows up ... it would be rare. What you will normally see on eBay are out and outright FAKES made to deceive. The opinions written are those of myself and perhaps somewhat biased ... but honest in my opinion. ... Ron Watson
  5. Recently a thread was started by a new member yoroi-doshi pointing out a Teppo Netsuke that he had acquired. This particular netsuke had as I later found out had been on a Japanese Auction site I believe the auction site is called Ameba ... here is a link : http://ameblo.jp/jrp2ae2xx3/entry-11938831336.html. It was subsequently listed on eBay. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Netsuke, ... they were a type of toggle usually with two holes called himotoshi ( although a simple ring was sometimes employed attached to the Netsuke ) for the attachment of a cord from which you hung an Inro ( medicine container ), or writing paraphernalia such as an ink brush container and ink ( Yatate ). or a tobacco pouch and pipe (Tabako Ire and Kiseru ). The Toggle was slipped under the belt ( Obi ) of the traditional Kimono and allowed to hang over the top, thus securing the above various items called ( Sagemono ... literally hanging things ) to be carried about without loss. During the mid to late Edo period and on into the Meiji Period it became the fashion to wear a Netsuke and they became in reality Status Symbols among the Merchant Class. Samurai never really took up the wearing of Sagemono. The subject matter and materials used run of the gamut of most any subject and material. Fine examples today often run into thousands of dollars for these minute accessories. Many are considered fine art. Among the rarest of Netsuke are the Teppo Netsuke fashioned to look like miniature Matchlock Pistols. Along with all other types of Netsuke, copies or Fakes abound particularly those found on eBay ... Fake Teppo Netsuke abound. I would guess that 99.5 % of the Teppo Netsuke seen today are Fakes. Occasionally a genuine example will show up at one of the major auction houses and invariably bring a good price. Virtually all of these are however still what I call " tourist " netsuke made during the Meiji Period and exported to Europe as trinkets and never actually worn by the Japanese as true Netsuke. In the example I am about to describe, ... not only is it a Genuine example but I am reasonably sure in stating that it was not only worn but made during the Late Edo Period which makes it VERY rare As we go thru the photos which the new owner has graciously consented to use for educational purposes, ... I will endeavour to point out the attributes that the example shows vis a vis a copy or Fake. Ok, .... lets get at it. In the first photograph we see a side view of the Teppo Netsuke. Note the nice even patina on the steel. No artificial rust here. Also note the care that has gone into the detail, ... the nicely formed serpentine, even the cross groves to imitate the iron hammers of for instance the Kunitomo among other schools. Also note the small hole thru the serpentine head to accept a bamboo sliver to keep the match in place as found on many full size Teppo but rarely if ever on a fake. The correct amaooi ( barrel protector in brass ), the sear protector ( Ibo-kakushi ), the washer around the barrel retaining pin ( zagane ). Some or most of these features are not found on a FAKE. Also note the ring below the barrel to attach a cord. This although present on many fakes are often in the wrong place. This one is substantial and correctly placed. In the next photograph the pan is open revealing a vent ( himichi ), ... just like a full size teppo. In addition the owner tells me that this vent opens directly into the barrel ( something you NEVER see on a fake ). In the next photograph, the barrel has been removed and we can plainly see the proper and accurate inletting in the stock as well as the bamboo barrel retaining pin ( mekugi ). NOTE: I just had an email from the owner stating in this case the mekugi is made of brass rather than bamboo. My error as they are normally made of bamboo but on occasion brass. In the next photograph we can see the breach plug ( bisen ) ... and although round ( sometimes also encountered on full size teppo ) even though most are square. The maker has also placed a slot for the removal ( by unscrewing ) the bisen for ease of cleaning. In the next photograph, we see that the maker has signed his work .... Sadakatsu . A signature on a fake is almost unheard of. Also notice the strength of the signature chisling. This is the cutting of a confident hand. Finally a photograph giving some scale to this wonderful Teppo Netsuke. This Teppo Netsuke is owned by one of our newest members Mr. Arthur Greenberg ( yoroi-doshi ). I sincerely congratulate him on his find and for kindly giving me permission to do this article. I truly hope he continues to follow the NMB and bring his expertise to our attention. I will follow this article up immediately with some examples of questionable and outright fakes. As always any errors or omissions are mine alone. ... Ron Watson
  6. Dear All, This is an area of collecting that is causing no end of headaches and in the future may well put a stop to collecting anything other than " Barbie Dolls ". It was a MAJOR concern when I operated my Antique business and just one more hassle which led to my closing down my business. There are no end to items what you can ship and what you cannot ship depending on the country of export and country of import ( CUSTOMS ), .... plus the carriers whether they be Mail service or Courier. Among the worst in my experience has been : the UK, Italy, Australia, Japan, China and believe it or not the USA. For instance shipping a deactivated Maxim Machine Gun to Europe is fine so long as the aircraft does not land in the USA on the way over. In which case the US government will seize the shipment on the grounds it does not meet US deactivation standards which are brutal ( I guess the USA think they control everything ). The easiest countries I've dealt with are: Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and believe it or not RUSSIA ! ... Ron Watson
  7. Dear Piers, Very interesting, .... but I would humbly suggest the item as a whole would be too small to act as a netsuke ... hung on a charm bracelet or a necklace perhaps. ... Ron Watson
  8. Dear Arthur ( yoroi-doshi ), I never bothered looking at this netsuke until a few moments ago ... eBay item 400802257434, .... but in my opinion this is one of the very few genuine Teppo Netsuke I have seen in a very long time on eBay. If you purchased this Netsuke, ... then you have in my opinion made a very good buy. I do not think it is Edo period ... unless very late. It may well be Meiji period. In any case very nice to see. .... Ron Watson
  9. Dear Alex, et al : The problem with IVORY is not the antique pieces carved 100 - 1000 years ago. The problem with IVORY is the failure of countries like Japan, China and other Asian countries to curtail the importation of NEW ivory. This sadly is the driving force behind the illegal poaching of Elephants. Most Western countries ( Europe and North America ) have long ago passed laws with respect to the importation of anything but Antique Ivory objects. A few countries ... in reality only the USA have imposed via Fiat ( Presidential Executive Order ) or is in the process of passing laws prohibiting the import / export ( even between states within the union of the USA ) any and all Ivory be it Antique or Modern. This Draconian law has for all intents made criminals out of literally hundreds of thousands of US citizens. I personally know of many Japanese Netsuke collectors whose collections at the stroke of a pen have suddenly become worthless. I personally know of many Antique Firearm collectors and dealers who have stripped the ivory grips off ALL antique firearms that had Ivory grips. This is absolutely ridiculous as even MAMMOTH Ivory is now illegal. Happily for now most European countries and Canada have not introduced such stupid laws. The only way to slow down the inevitable extinction of the Elephant ( over population of man will eventually lead to their extinction but for a few token animals closely guarded in preserves and zoos anyway ) is to put pressure on the ASIAN countries to stop the importation of new ivory by shutting down ALL of the shops currently carving trinkets ( the Chinese ) and modern Netsuke and Letter Seals ( both Japan and China ). I totally agree that Prince William is a Dink, ... and I believe his father Prince Charles has straightened him out according to what I have read. For those who are obsessed with being Politically Correct in not condemning Japan ... read this : http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/ ... JZ20140319 ... Ron Watson
  10. Dear Steven, I am 67 years of age and have been collecting for probably close to 35 years. I am far from wealthy, ... but have still amassed a reasonable collection of Japanese Art/Artifacts. Other than a few Elitist persona on the NMB, ... I have found encouragement, friends and indeed have tried to encourage younger people to take an interest. I think what you are missing here is the necessity of being prepared via books, shows, videos and advice to take it slow and gently. To do otherwise is to be disappointed and possibly even ridiculed. I mentioned a Primer Book in my previous post. This I would recommend you pick up. It will at least give you a foundation to start from. None of us were born Nihonto/Samurai Arts collectors, ... we all had to pay our dues by study and examination and asking pertinent questions. After 35 or so years, ... there is much I do not know even in the field that I am considered by some an expert. I do agree with you that there is a shortage of younger people taking up the hobby/study and I blame this on not only financial constraints but also the desire of the younger people for instant gratification. I think most if not all of us encourage people and few if any have the desire to keep others out. ... Ron Watson
  11. Jean, Jean, Jean, Picasso was a painter ?? ... and Van Gogh was a painter ?? Now if you'd said Rembrandt .... or my Grandson : Peyton Watson ! ... Anonymouse Ron
  12. Dear James, I always tell those new to Nihonto, ... that an excellent introduction at a most reasonable price is : The Samurai Sword by John Yumoto ( easily available through used book sellers on the Internet ). ... Ron Watson PS. I failed to mention Grey Doffin is a book seller. He might well have a copy available.
  13. Dear James, How wonderful to see such optimism. I've always been a pessimist ... with that characteristic trait ... I'm never disappointed ! ... Ron Watson
  14. Dear Peter & Geraint, I have grave doubts about this tsuba depicting a Tanegashima. Even given Artistic License, ... unless the tsuba is signed Picasso that the object depicted is a firearm. The wrapping on the handle ( barrel ?? ) appears more like one might find on a broom. I don't recognize the theme, ... just my opinion. ... Ron Watson
  15. Dear Steven, What do you mean by illegality so far as reducing interest? Steven what I meant was with CERTAIN countries getting more and more touchy about the import of swords among other items ... good example the UK. If you are living in the UK you need sufficient proof that the Japanese sword or other swords manufactured in any country are either ANTIQUE or hand forged. Otherwise the item may be seized by UK Customs and destroyed. Countries ( Politicians ) are forever passing new laws as a means of winning voters on the impression that they are suppressing crime. Hell in many countries if an item is listed as a knife or sword .... companies like eBay will not allow these people to even view little alone bid ! ( If I am mistaken and I think not, ... some member in the UK will correct me ). HERE : Read what Politicians can do with the stroke of a pen : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/ch ... 04A10.html For all intents and purposes IVORY of any kind is now illegal to import/export in the USA ... even between states within the USA. ... Ron Watson
  16. Dear Peter, If you're young and wealthy enough its a good time to buy ( strictly as a hobby for enjoyment NOT an investment ). If you're looking to have any monies for retirement and you're older its best to SELL as soon enough no one will have an interest by either .... financial constraints or illegality. ... Ron Watson
  17. Dear George, Starting with the hole with the diamond shaped iron insert. This at one time was much smaller and served as a pin hole for attachment of the original matchlock lock plate to the stock ( we can barely make out where the old original matchlock lock plate ended and the inletting was extended beyond this to accommodate the new percussion lock plate ).. Next, ... moving forward towards the barrel is a blind hole used for inserting a punch to drive the original lock plate loose from the stock ( once the actual lock plate pins were removed ). Next, ... the hole above the present trigger is the hole for the pin that kept the original matchlock trigger in place ( this we are sure about as on the opposite side it exits above the lock plate. Next hole is another pin hole which was once used for attaching the original matchlock lock to the stock. Virtually all matchlock lock plates are pinned to the stock front and rear ( in other words two pins were used ). ... Ron Watson
  18. Dear Ian, Just when I thought we covered everything : How about : Jiita mekugi ...... lock plate pin or Karakuri mekugi ....... Lock retaining pin Lets see what Piers comes up with as a suitable word/words . PIERS .... ... Ron Watson
  19. Dear Justin, A plumb, ... is not required on a hand held firearm. It is sometimes used on a cannon as in a gunners quadrant. The strings you see in Japanese illustrations of a string from barrel to ground was a " supposed " device for firing at night so all gun/guns were at least pointed at a correct level and/or direction. The only level seen on firearms ( inevitably target firearms ) is a sideways level mounted on the front peep sight to correct for CANT ( avoiding the firearm being slanted either slightly left or right from the vertical ). As far as Fancy knots ( agemaki ) these belong on fancy Koshira and Katchu ... not generally associated with firearms. I think we have it right until definitively proved incorrect. ... Ron Watson
  20. Dear Justin, Yes, ... I forgot to add that word. It's there now. ... Ron Watson
  21. Dear Brian, I have now updated the original list of parts taking into consideration YOUR diagram. I have had no more emails with additions to the TYPES of Teppo nor to the list of Accessories, ... nor the Bullet chart. I think it maybe wise to leave it as a thread for a couple more days before converting to a PDF file just in case someone comes up with something new ?? ... Ron
  22. Dear Piers, I will edit the list to add : Daikabu .... Butt, ... also Himichi .... Vent, also Kanime, .... Sear .... along with the other words you have listed as few people know the English equivalent of some of these such as Ibo-kakushi (Sear protector ) Wasoku for Laynard hole. Anymore ... simply email me so I can Edit/Update the lists. ... Ron Watson PS. Brian ... a much better drawing with corrected/updated words . I will given its early morning here look it over word for word to note any errors to the best of my ability. I would like to thank ALL those who have corrected spellings ( Piers ), ... re-done the major drawing ( Brian ). This should be a worthwhile project once completed. Any additional words/corrections please email me at : watsonr@mts.net
  23. Dear Eric, Thank you, ... YES ! I almost forgot you are a Computer WIZZ. Me, ... my grandson makes me look like an idiot. Computers and I do not click. He loses patience trying to teach me how to edit photographs, etc. I asked Justin by PM if he might possibly do this job as I believe he too is competent on Computers. I hope he sees it in time. I'll PM him right now to tell him its a fait accompli. ... Ron Watson
  24. Dear All, I agree with Brian ... a visual guide would be of considerable help. Unfortunately I am Computer illiterate. I know on page 7 of Sugawa 's English book ... The Japanese Matchlock ... there is a detailed drawing showing most of the applicable parts and labeled in Japanese and English. I do not know whether copying this exact drawing would be considered a copyright violation or not ? I have seen it reproduced on various image sites on the internet, so perhaps there is no problem. I will if no one posts a drawing in the meantime post one myself in about a week or so when my grandson is here for a weekend. I will however do the drawing myself. ... Ron Watson
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