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Hello all, Its been a while since I posted but I have a piece here that I purchased pre covid at the SFO show in 2019 and would like some insight and/or opinions on it. I purchased this and it seemed like a legitimate piece at first glance, with very finely made details and mixed gilding, but when I got it home and started looking at the details up close with a loupe I noticed a few oddities. Fig 1 & 2 are overall photos of the front and back. The pieces seem to be traditionally constructed and not cast, the elements seem to be integrated with the base and the nanako seems to go 'around' the base of the elements in places (See kogai detail 2). Both pieces are non magnetic. Fig 3 & 4 are close ups of the work on the kogai and kozuka respectively. note that on closer inspection, one can begin to see where the gilding is showing on the nanako on the bottom left edge of the kogai in Fig 3, and there are some 'shiny' spots in the nanako on the left side of the kozuka in fig 4. Notice more of this 'overrun' on the edges of the phoenix element in the kogai closeups 1, 2, and 3. Upon further inspection, examples of this overrun can be seen in multiple other places on the piece, as well as places where the nanako seems gilded, and did not become black (Top right of kogai detail 1, top of kogai detail 6, top right of kogai detail 7, top of kozuka detail 3 and 7) I have considered that the nanako may have been colored in by a metalworking markup dye called dyekem, but I have tested a sample of dykem on a similar surface and it does not seem to be the case. All of this leads me to a few possible scenarios in order of my perceived likelihood: 1. This is a modern fake. 2. This could be a genuine original piece that originally had a gold nanako background, that was 'colored' in later by a owner or dealer. 3. this could be a genuine antique piece, with a construction method that I am unaware of and have never seen nor heard of. All photos can be accessed here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ocTp54uHSH8EIH8EX5K-ZPIf8ak5908n?usp=sharing These pieces look very finely detailed in hand and the photographs do not really capture that very well. What are your thoughts regarding these? Thanks for your input, -B.S.
Early Koto Mumei Wakizashi - O-kissaki shinogi-zukuri Blade in older polish In Koshirae with iron Higo style fuchi & kashira with gilt inlay Old shakudo menuki and a rare Higo wrap of lacquered paper ito carved in tsunami maki Saya red matt with tooled brass kojiri and slot for kogai Habaki yamagane Blade length: 37.3cm Sori: 0.7cm Moto-haba, thickness at the Hamamachi: 2.6cm Kasane, thickness at the Hamachi: 0.5cm Era: Early koto £1950 for collection in London or SE UK or I will ship to UK/EU/ US