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Pete,

 

Thought provoking article.  Human natured considered, the outcome could not be any different, all we can do is be wary.

Speaking of fittings, if I may, what are your feelings on the overly aggressive "restoration" of kodogu.  Is the article in question still an honest representation of the creators work?  At what point does a piece become unacceptable.....at what point does restoration become ressurection?  As you know the market is fickle, what is deemed acceptable today could cost dearly tomorrow.

 

-StevenK

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"Speaking of fittings, if I may, what are your feelings on the overly aggressive "restoration" of kodogu.  Is the article in question still an honest representation of the creators work?  At what point does a piece become unacceptable.....at what point does restoration become ressurection?  As you know the market is fickle, what is deemed acceptable today could cost dearly tomorrow".  StevenK

 

​Resurrection.  An interesting way of putting it.  These are good questions the answer to which is, it depends.  (Don't you just love that cop out)?  LOL  Anyway, to me if something has to be 'aggressively' restored then it 'probably' isn't 'shoshin' any more.  There are times when a patina can be restored so that you cannot tell it had even been touched which I would say would be fine.  The number of items you see in this field which have been at least 'touched up' are the majority.  I used to be quite orthodox on this subject but came to understand that there are so many items which have been worked on that to find one in absolutely original and pristine condition is akin to trying to find an old, 'high level' sword which has never been polished.  A bit of an overstatement but perhaps you get my point.  I like what Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin fame once said; "The fish is the star of the plate.  Everything we do is to 'elevate' the fish".  IOW's if the restoration alters and diminishes the item then it is not appropriate.  If the restoration 'elevates' the piece, 'resurrects' (brings it back to life) then it may be appropriate.  The reality is that there are nuances involved here so making blanket statements would be umwise.

 

​PS:  too often I see posts here where the owner of an item immediately wants to restore.  In nine out of ten circumstances the item is either not worth the effort or the item would be diminished.  A skilled restorationist such as Ford knows the difference and will advise accordingly.

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I do wonder---speaking now of early iron fittings---how many of such works could have survived the centuries enduring Japan's climate without having been "attended to" across their long lives.  Is it really possible for an early-Edo (or earlier) iron tsuba to have made it across 400 years never having been cleaned, oiled, waxed, re-patinated, etc...?  I suppose it's possible, but it must be a relatively rare occurrence, no?  I can't help but wonder what the de-rigueur care of iron fittings was in pre-Modern Japan.  How was a 16th-century ko-Katchushi sword guard cared for/attended to 100 years after its production?  200 years?  300 years?  I don't know that we can really ever know such things, especially as philosophies, practices and customs may have changed over the course of time and/or been different from region to region. 

 

Here's a link to an interesting discussion on the matter of restoration and conservation of such objects: 

 

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/21171-restoration-of-tosogu-nihonto-etc/?hl=%2Brestoration+%2Btosogu. 

 

In the end, whatever our particular subjective philosophy may be concerning suitable approaches to conservation and/or restoration of fittings, cultural, political and economic factors will always complicate matters to the point of threatening any clarity we might have on the issue in an ideal world. 

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Pete,

 

Thanks for the well considered reply.  I concur, though my preference is for pieces in good original condition(as I am sure yous is).

I watched mr.Blumenthal's shows when originally aired,much good stuff there.  I had family in New Orleans french quarter and their poultry techniques are aligned....brining  and a slower lower temperature are essential for a moist tender bird.  And yes on Mies, the Bauhaus, Weiner Werkstätte, German expressionism, etc.,etc!  Few things quite as lovely as a pair of period Barcelona chairs.

 

-StevenK

p.s.-less IS more but, more IS more...also! LOL

p.p.s.- Steve, good closing remark.

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Jeremiah - what do you consider, 'real light'?

Any non-scan picture, prefer flash camera phone or regular camera. White indoor light is fine.

 

Pictures from Grey Doffin on his site or Raymond Singer are what I mean. Aoi recently has now included a real light pictures in their ads.

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