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Uncategorized School?

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I recently bought an interesting tsuba, iron plate with copper and brass inlays, rappresenting a kiku leaf with one kiku sukashi and one zogan.

It shows a nice dark and glossy patina with some small tekkotsu

post-2051-0-64942500-1547558675_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-27597500-1547558699_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-95650800-1547560041_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-90425900-1547560056_thumb.jpg

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I made some research but i couldn't find any similar one on my books, nor a certified example.

Searching online i found this topic http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/10101-references-for-the-kiami-school/ where David seems to have my same problems to categorize his piece which looks really similar to mine.

Since i had no luck finding a certain attribution i started research simila pieces online to try figure this out.

The following are the most similar examples i found:

 

post-2051-0-40487800-1547559190_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-67870000-1547559200_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-46596900-1547559217_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-53247700-1547559229_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-98856700-1547559242_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-02904500-1547559257_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-24097100-1547559271_thumb.jpgpost-2051-0-55550900-1547559325_thumb.jpg

 

Appears to me that the pieces show all similar workmanship, despite the changes in the composition and even in the presence or absence of zogan (even different kind of zogan).

Often the first examples are described as "ko-Hagi" because the kiku subject and the presence of positive/negative sukashi, but that school show no zogan.

Other options would be Heianjo or Kyo Shoami, but they don't totally fit either.

In my opinion maybe we're looking to another minor school that been uncategorized, probably born in the early Edo (or maybe even earlier) and continued till mid Edo.

 

To add more "head-scratching" there's also this piece which is totally different subject but the zogan kinda remind the one on my tsuba.

For some reason they attributed to Kyo Sukashi

post-2051-0-87421500-1547559929_thumb.jpg

 

I look forward to hear your opinion on this matter

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Hello, this is my first post to this message board!

I found it quite funny that the first thread I click on hapens to be of a Tsuba style I currently own.

it is missing some obvious inlay, but otherwise ok.

 

Im sorry I do not know anything about this Tsuba style but below is my example:

 

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20181229_200830.jpg

 

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I bought a similar one, but without zogan, years ago claimed as Ko-Hagi.
I stumbled also about the zogan pieces and in my opinion the zogan was added later to enhance or just to vary the stereotyped design.

On Steve’s (?) Tsuba the blossom is missing on the front side. Obviously only the outline was worked in iron and hint to some kind of industrial production.

This particular motiv can be seen very often so it must have been popular maybe as a souvenir.

Florian

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Welcome Steve and thank you for your post, i actually find quite interesting your tsuba cause it can show us the insight of the iron plate under the zogan which appears to be, as Florian say, a "standard" iron plate on which then a carving and/or zogan is then added.
But to me the choise seems been taken at the moment of creation of the tsuba, not a later addition cause the flat surface under the zogan, if there was been a carving there the plate would at least been hollow to remove it.
So the question still stands, who made these? Was it a smaller school (maybe trading on the Tokaido road?) or was it part of a larger group like those in Kyoto (Kyo Shoami) or Choshu (Hagi)?

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Interesting! it had crossed my mind initially that maybe there was never inlay in the area, as you say, it is quite flat. The front side of the Tsuba has been quite corroded , especially on that right hand side, so I figured that maybe some of the corrosion has taken away not only the inlay, but also the carving definition?

some inlay on the front lower right is loose which I am almost sure is due to the old corrosion too.

 

I feel like I have seen this design in a book from Gary D Murtha in the past, long before I received this Tsuba. I might have to find a copy of them and have another look!

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I'm actually wondering how the zogan would fit in place on that flat surface with only those line carvings to keep it in position, but that's a question for a tsuba maker i guess.

If you can find the book would be great

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I'm actually wondering how the zogan would fit in place on that flat surface with only those line carvings to keep it in position, but that's a question for a tsuba maker i guess.

 

If you can find the book would be great

 

im already looking!

 

ive known of inlays having a scalloped soffit, and when lightly hammered in, the inlay scallop is made flat and pushes the perimeter into what should be a dovetail carving. the above doesn't suggest there was a dovetail though

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From my knowledge the line carving should work for a linear zogan, once engraved the line then you put the zogan in position by hammering it, the brass expanding should stuck inside the carving.
But i never did that before so i'm not sure is correct

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I was able to track the book(s) through a mate, not what I remember so I think I have seen it elsewhere as im sure it was near identicle to my example, but anyhow, the closest Tsuba style in the book by G D Murtha was this:

20190116_175326.jpg

Apologies for not remembering correctly

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@ Steve: I’m afraid corrosion wouldn’t have erased all traces of carving while the circular cut is still clearly to be seen. Maybe it was intentioned to carve it but regarding the other side it’s more likely zogan should have been applied (or was applied and fell off).

@ Manuel: It is interesting that in Your piece the blossom shows large petals, but the area beneath it is rounded whithout indentations in the iron. So IMHO this proofs a teamwork, a basic form was produced and others made a decoration in zogan.

 

These Tsuba are definitively not Heianjo although the technique is similar. Besides other features Heijanjo-Tsuba should have decorated rims.

Florian

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Thanks Steve, even not same subject is definetely same school to my eyes, which is interesting and add more evidence to the post.

Florian, my idea is not that plate and zogan been made by the same person buy maybe inside the same workshop, one person(s) in charge of "mass producing" the plate and then other artists in charge of carving or inlaying. Of course this is all speculation, but assembly lines were existing already to produce kazuuchi mono blades, so doesn't sound so weird to me.

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Florian yes! Fallen out! apologies, this is what I was trying to get across, Ive been collecting and making for quite a while now but im still learning the correct terminology.

 

C0D, Tomorrow i am searching for the near identical one i saw as Im sure there was a description included with it

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I found another example of missing zogan (in my opinion):
 

post-919-0-32301200-1547728355.jpg

 

This picture is a part of a shot, so quality isn’t good, but You can see clearly that in this case the inner area of the circular form has been bevelled probably to receive a better hold to the zogan.

Florian

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Very interesting! Especially the “simple display base” I haven’t seen before.
An early kind of Ikebana?

At least the mutual interaction could be seen here - the same design was reproduced by different schools.

Florian

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Ciao Mauro  :)

Often the first examples are described as "ko-Hagi" because the kiku subject and the presence of positive/negative sukashi, but that school show no zogan.

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Stephen,

 

a printed list is not available anymore. As I attended the sale, I have all prices noted in my catalogue. Should you want a price at hammer for any of the 109 tsuba sold that day, please ask. The Kiami tsuba N° 99 has been sold at 1300 € (hammer price) :(

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Thank you Bruno, the hammer price suprises me somewhat, I would have guessed about half the amount, but, I also have no real clue about these matters

Thankyou

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Well that price seems quite off-market, maybe it paid that came from a collection of a noted person, but still seems excessive

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Well that price seems quite off-market, maybe it paid that came from a collection of a noted person, but still seems excessive

agreed. No good reason for that price but the collection name (Lecuir collection). The vast majority of the tsuba sold that day were over priced.

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Admittedly, my example is far from perfect and likely worse off condition than the auction version, but I paid just a smidge over 100usd for it

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