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Opinions about nice sukashi tsuba

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Hi All.  I would love to hear the opinions of you iron men about this tsuba that just sold on Yahoo.jp.  It has green papers to Akasaka.  I am prepared to believe that the papers are correct.  If so, my question to you is what can you tell us about kantei for Akasaka tsuba, features that this one has or doesn't etc.  Also, can you place it to a certain age, man or generation?  It went for a little under $1200.  Is that fair market value?  Would you have it papered at NBTHK if it were yours?   Full disclosure, I bid on it but did not win it.  All insight is appreciated.  Cheers, Bob

 

 

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Yea, I saw that one Dale, but the condition is really bad and the carving isn't even close to that of this one.  I did consider it though.  Also, like others, I don't pay too much attention to green papers, though I suspect that these are fine and they do nothing more than assign it to Akasaka.  I saw the other one too, but wasn't wild about the surface of the iron (some say steel) on the seppa dai.  

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Hello,

 

Nice tsuba.

In my opinion, based on the patern and workmaship, it is an Akasaka.

Not sure it is worth to send to shinsa to still have an Akasaka attribution, and just change the color of the paper.

For kantei points: the round mimi, the shape of the seppa dai and the sukashi technic. And problably other kantei points that more knowledgable will complete :)

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 my question to you is what can you tell us about kantei for Akasaka tsuba, features that this one has or doesn't etc.  Also, can you place it to a certain age, man or generation? 

 

Probably yes, yes, and yes. You're asking a lot.  There are _at least_ two *much* more focused Akasaka collectors here. Maybe one of them will lay it all out.

 

I personally rely upon:  https://www.japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com/store/books/b759-chic-sukashi-akasaka-tsuba-sano-museum  and Markus Sesko's  Tosogu Classroom translation to form my own Akasaka opinions. While I have a good grasp of a few guys, I don't feel particularly confident with identifying certain other generations. You know I stick 90% to the Higo and Owari schools.

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Robert, I am not an expert (on anything by the way ) but Akasaka sounds good. Mine was sold in 2016 for 90 Euros on Ebay from a very old french collection.... Not as nice and delicate as yours but... price difference makes me think that such tsuba can be found at a more affordable price.

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Thanks Curran, I do have the classroom book and will have a look.  I guess they are more useful if one reads them?!   

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This is a very common design for the school. Dimensions matter a lot, as do some other factors, in determining generation.

Is $1200 fair?   Depends. If later generation work, expensive.  If relatively 3rd or 4th gen work, then a bit cheap though it is unpapered. Some people really know their Akasaka.

 

I'm not going to venture an opinion on the Yahoo one without a lot more information.

However, it does look like Bruno gave his away very cheaply. Someone took a gamble on dark photos and won.

 

 

Curran

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Curran,

 

you are right it was a real gambling.... Result was more than expectations (with a light cleaning)....

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Well, a lot's been said about your tsuba, and I do agree with all including that yours is a much better version of the motif than the other two - better carving and condition. Certainly Akasaka, and I would not submit to shinsa because that is what it the papers would say "Akasaka"  and not "Ko Akasaka'. Curran's point to Tosogu classroom translation is a good one - 100 pages on the school.

 

My guess from the pics is not 1st, 3rd or 4th generation. I say that by the iron, seppa dai, or yose tagane, but that is just my opinion. The fact that the seppa dai is a little pointed and that the connecting elements flair at the mimi may encourage one to a "Ko Akasaka" attribution to 2nd generation, in which case the $1200. is a good price, but I think the yose tagane points more to 5th or 6th.

 

Tricky to determine which generation is which but that is what would command that higher price, and the NBTHK would not sort that out for you.  I have attached an image of a 3rd generation that shows some of the kantei points what I am referring to.

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Bob,

 

Mark knows more about Akasaka than I do.

I vote against it being nidai. I like the nidai's work very much and it is the only Akasaka I still own.

 

To support Mark's point about nidai pointed seppa dai, see:

http://www.shoubudou.co.jp/products/detail.php?product_id=149

This is just to illustrate the sort of seppa dai associated with the nidai.

 

[ignore the condition. Condition is very rough. Otherwise, with those papers this one would be much higher than its current price.]

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If you look at the image, you can see that this tsuba is in very good condition. It looks like it's new work, and doesn't look like it's been 300 or even 150 years old. I think it's too adventurous for the winning bidder to bid for 119,000 JPY.

 


 


Auction sellers are still trying to sell large numbers of Akasaka tsuba. Perhaps the collectors were asked to sell them all at once.

The seller is bothersome to mention the size of the item in the description. Of the 26 points, only 8 have the hozon certificate attached. I speculate why other tsuba don't have a certificate.

 

Thank you. 

Yas.A

 


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Thanks Curran, Mark and Yas.

 

Mark, your analysis is what I am lacking and I will strive to gain a modicum of that by reading the classroom section you mention.  The tsuba you show is also very elegant, and has some signs of age that I can recognize, but it is the finer points of shape and features that I need to absorb.  How does Ko Akasaka relate to the generations?  Does that precede the early generations or is it defined as the early generations?  I suppose I should read it and then come back with any questions!

 

Yas, that last auction site that you link - is that from Yahoo or is it different?   That search appears to be specifically for Akasaka and found a lot of tsuba that I assume the sellers listed as Akasaka.  

 

My reactions to the initial tsuba on the thread were not based on any specific knowledge about Akasaka.  I was reacting to the very finely cut plate, the gracefulness of the design, the outstanding condition etc.  I know that these are all important, but without having my own knowledge of the different generations of Akasaka, which can make a huge difference in market value, and without papers that are unassailable, I would be hard put to bid on this tsuba much more than most of the listings in the search that Yas sent - in the range of 50,000-75,000.  

 

Is the perceived change of NBTHK not to specify maker or generation (which Curran has discussed) making those papers less valuable?  Mark's mention of it touches on this trend too (I guess).  If it just comes back "Akasaka" or "Higo" or some other school, that isn't very useful to more advanced collectors if it is an obvious call.  Do you submit for papers infrequently as a consequence of this, or only submit signed works?  Is the team at NBTHK as good as ever but less willing to go out on a limb?  Are they lacking stars or leaders these days?  I submitted my first tsuba recently with great hope and it just came back "Higo", which wasn't that helpful, and apparently doesn't add much value.  Any comments that any of you have would be appreciated.  I have submitted many swords, but not tsuba or other kodogu. 

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Thanks Curran, Mark and Yas.

How does Ko Akasaka relate to the generations?

The longtime practice has been for the NBTHK to paper the first 3 generations to Ko-Akasaka.

 

The rest of your questions invite a lot of opinions. I think my opinion about the current NBTHK fittings shinsa are well known. For non Japan residents, I don't know if it makes financial sense to NBTHK paper an Akasaka unless there is strong conviction or evidence that it is Shodai, Nidai, Sandai, Yondai, or Tadashige. [my opinion]  I think the yondai should get more respect than he does.

 

As to Yasaka-san's post:    It seems someone is moving an estate of Akasaka tsuba on Yahoo!Japan now. Perhaps the best have been cherry picked and the rest are mostly mid or later generation examples. I personally don't see them needing papers. There are some decent mid generation examples in there, but I also see a fair bit of recent red rust which may or may-not clean up

 

_Rarely_ a good find can be had on Yahoo!Japan. I did pick up a Goto Kenjo kozuka from there a year or two ago. However, I feel Yahoo!Japan has become a dangerous place with a lot of modified or hidden problem items, and many many people crowding the bidding with a few shill bidders in the mix sometimes. I think you can do much better talking to people and buying in North America or Europe. Two of the three tsuba I have bought in the last year have come from this side of the globe, and there is a third here in the USA that I will seriously consider when it is offered.

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It is a shame that the US sword shows are cancelling in 2020 due to the corona virus - but probably very necessary. I was able to attend the Atlanta Show in March and, as usual, many tsuba to paw over, and that is really what it takes to absorb the nuances of a school - handle a lot of them. I have never been disappointed with a tsuba I'd bought in hand. Auctions, well another story.

 

Regarding the quantity of Akasaka on the market, it may have something to do with current fashion. It seems that Akasaka have taken a "back seat" to Higo in the last few years. As for me, it will probably remain my favorite of Edo period iron.

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I agree with that sentiment Mark, though I have also been very pleasantly surprised as well when tsuba are much nicer in hand than they appear in photos.  I am trying to develop my understanding of Higo and Akasaka, which has been challenging and fun.  I do hope that the shows start up again soon, as I have had a table at the Chicago show every year that I know that I will be in town.  At least my registration fee from this year will carry over!  

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I was watching Bruno's uploaded tsuba side by side. If I could buy an item like this for 90 euros, it would be fun.

Both photos seem to be artificial light sources, but the rust color looks quite different even though they are the same tsuba.

His images show the difficulty of identifying iron tsuba online. The importance of picking up the real thing cannot be overemphasized.

 

Yas

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Yas, you are perfectly right. Depending the angle, the kind of light (natural, artificial) and I would say even my mood  :( ... tsuba color might change. These one probably represent an approach to the real (natural light) color.

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Yas, you are perfectly right. Depending the angle, the kind of light (natural, artificial) and I would say even my mood  :( ... tsuba color might change. These one probably represent an approach to the real (natural light) color.

 

Thank you for your reply,Bruno. The norm that many collectors already know is that iron tsuba must be confirmed in direct sunlight.
The images I uploaded were sent by a friend. Both are popular edition, and were taken in direct sunlight.
A friend tells me it is Akasaka Tsuba and Higo Tsuba, but anyway, I can see that the two have distinctly different rust colors.
The tsuba on the right has a rust color like coal, which is known as "purple rust." These differences in rust color indicate different iron qualities or schools. For reference only.
 
Yas

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Do you own a standard work to compare with the new tsuba, in this case a certain Akasaka Tsuba?

Nearest is your own eye. I'm just behind the monitor.

 

Yas

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i personally do like this Tsuba!

 

i even would like this Tsuba had a attribution to the Tosa..... ( as such i would certainly had a quick jump onto it ! :thumbsup: )

 

as but "Japan" does say "Akasaka"... this would not ben possible i do think ??? ( LOL!)

 

so far....

 

:) !

 

happy bidding!

 

Christian

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