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Tom Lindeman

Shoami Tsuba cleaning recommendations

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Hello friends,

 

I recently acquired this Tsuba that is said to be from the Akita Shaomi school, but that is not 100%.  Any guesses from those who have seen Tsuba similar to this?  The signature was auto-translated to  Eshu Hikone Ju Mogarashi Soten Se.

 

Also, I have been reading alot of your great posts on cleaning, soap vs oil vs wax, what kind of brushes, soft metal vs iron, etc, and it is that later that I need some advice with.  Is this "soft metal"?  How would you best clean and preserve this?  The antique dealer said to wipe the rust with a soft cloth, but not the black rust.  

 

You are a great group of people and I am happy to join the community! I am in Nagano. 

 

Tom1146937241_TomTsuba.thumb.jpg.1acfd9968cbaca2275f5cfb99c044eb3.jpg

 

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Tom,

welcome to the NMB!

You are in beautiful NAGANO, so there should be some knowledgeable TOSOGU people around to advise you directly, I hope!

Other than that, if you have red rust, this is of course an iron Tsuba. You could also check with a magnet.  Red rust is bad and should be carefully scraped off with a soft tool (a pointed piece of ivory, bone, bamboo, or antler. You could also try a piece of pure (!!!) copper.  

The TSUBA looks gorgeous, but the pics cannot be magnified, so we don't see details. Please be aware that SOTEN TSUBA have been copied by many TSUBASHI, so there is a chance that the signature might be GIMEI. On the other hand, if SHOSHIN, these TSUBA have a high market value!

Enjoy your TSUBA and keep us informed with better photos!

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Dear Tom.

 

Go very carefully!  I should be very surprised if this tsuba is iron, from what I can see when I enlarge the image it is likely to be soft metal, in this case shakudo, an alloy of coper with a small amount of gold.  Do the magnet test as Jean suggests and then stop.  If it is iron then the cleaning advice stands, if not then do nothing, the patina is everything on soft metal tsuba.  I am sure others will advise on how to proceed if it is shakudo.

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of tsuba!

 

All the best.

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Tsuba in a style common to Soten. For the time being, I recommend that you do not touch it with your bare hands.
Reliable pro shops usually display the material of the work, and if you ask a question, they will teach you how to care. It's surprising to mistakenly show the buyer the signature of the work.

 

秋草図鐔 江州彦根住-藻柄子宗典製(比較).jpg

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Thank you very much for the information everyone.  "Proceed carefully" is definitely the plan. 

 

@Yasaka Azuma One of pictures you posted is definitely my piece. Can I ask again what you meant by "surprising to mistakenly show the buyer the signature of the work"

I am not sure the signature on the Tsuba is genuine, but shouldn't the seller show the buyer a signature if there is one? 

 

I will try to find an antique shop near me where I can get some help caring for this. I am not seeing anyone recommend wax. 👍 

 

Thank you!

 

 

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I found this PDF article from this message board and it looks like I have a very close match with b) and f) below which are authenticated by NBTHK.  Very interesting.  Thank you all for helping me understand my find more deeply!

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.nihontomessageboard.com/articles/Soten_Study.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwit9Legg6ftAhXDPXAKHXlmA7QQFjAQegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw35J9kN1WXJY7dqHBmUJv

Study of a SŌTEN Tsuba - Nihonto Message Board

Screenshot_20201129_152819.jpg

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If you stay in Japan, you probably have experienced Japanese euphemisms.

To tell you the truth, these are clones made from the same mold. It has been known to Japanese collectors for a long time, and some are actually made at the Soten-workshop. As a matter of fact, I knows very little of the truth of the age.
 

フェイク藻柄子押菊の図鍔a.jpg

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