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Caracal

Inro Signing and value

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Hi

 

I am interested in knowing who signed this intro and what one appreciates the value of it. It is said to be from the Edo period.

Same for number 2 (said to be from Meiji) without signature.

 

// Robert

 

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12185708_bukobject.jpg.493ba2772283e67cc3f6b9ee31ebbda2.jpg

 

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First may I recommend Wrangham's wonderful book? There you will find all the artists from the 古萬 Koma group and your particular inro/lacquer worker. (Koma Shinsai???)

https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/Wrangham/dp/0952519445

 

Totally unable and unwilling to value such things, but you are asking about the inro, not the Netsuke or Ojime, right?

I am sure the inro cannot be worth less than USD 500 each, and possibly considerably more, but it will be a select and narrow customer base for them, I should imagine.

 

Some people spend their life studying published auction results to get such answers regarding value!

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These Inro are at auction so I need help with an assessment of whether they are worth placing a bid on


Starting price is 500 usd - 700 usd each

 

//Robert

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I know next to nothing about inro but I particularly like the first one. The netsuke and ojime on the first one also look good to me, while the netsuke of the second is hard to judge from the picture. I also suspect that the price will rise quite above $500.

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Caracal, it depends what your motivation is.

 

Do you want to buy them as an investment, or for a quick sale, or because you love them?

 

If the latter, then choose an absolute ceiling sum for you, don’t exceed it, and pray that no-one else loves it as much as you do. They are lovely.

(Apologies if I am overstating the obvious.)

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Thank you for the answers.

 

The auction is in mid-december.

 

Are there more who can comment on these Inro, you are welcome.......

 

//Robert

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Personally I can't ID the signsture you showed in the opening post. You could check out some of the bonham or christies sales catalogues as they frequently have inro with signatures and the artists listed together. I think I saw one such catalogue last week (if I can recover the link I'll add it later).

 

The value of inro goes up exponentially with its age and condition. Old ones are rarely flawless and thus condition being too good often means it's relatively young.

 

Edit: for what it's worth, the inro with the lobster and gold lacquer has a coral cord binder, which I think adds to the sea creature design. The red sphere in between the inro and netsuke. Of course I can't be sure of the material from photos alone but it sure looks like red coral.

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Is there any connection between the number of boxes on the Inro and age.

 

Did they made different designs depending on the time period and Is there anything you can see depending on the time period.

 

La Mode probably already existed during the Edo period.

 

Some other characteristics of a good Inro.

 

// Robert

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I think the top into is signed Koma Koryu saku (based on the Inro Handbook by Raymond Bushell). I know nothing about inro but this guy looks like a big name - one example sold for £36,000, so I’m guessing that it isn’t genuine. 
If you google the name you’ll see that the workmanship here is different. I’ll post the signature from the book in the morning. 

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Thank you very interesting. 

 

I will talk to them at the auction house as they seem to have an Asian expert but there is no guarantee of authenticity.

 

// Robert

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Unless inro, netsuke and ojime are particularly well-made modern fakes, I'd say that the package is well worth its $500-$700 estimate even if the signature is spurious.

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Nearly all inro are from the final century of Edo period. These are decent mid-upper grade examples, late, maybe 600-1000$ each.

Neither is unique or particularly good, you can buy things like these more or less anytime.

No auction house will "guarantee the authenticity" of pretty much anything, they can state a qualified opinion.

 

Kirill R.

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Be careful what you buy. The first piece has an ivory netsuke and ojime. Most auction houses will not sell pieces with ivory. Often it is illegal to sell ivory out of the country. If you buy the first piece you may never be able to sell it. It would be a terrible investment.

Dick B.

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Robert is in Sweden; I do not know where the auction house is. The US is particularly harsh, but the rest of the world is a mish mash, some places more sensible and pragmatic regarding genuine antique art than others.

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The auction expert says.

 

INRO Japan, Meiji (1868-1912). Signed
Decor with cranes on both sides against a gold-plated base. Six parts. Length 8.5 cm. With netsuke in bone, diameter 4.5 cm.

 

INRO Japan, Edo 1800s
One side with decoration of lobster, the other with decoration in relief of plants, length 8.5 cm. with sculpted netsuke in wood in the form of fruit. Length 4 cm.

 

// Robert

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Hard to judge from just one picture, but sometimes “bone” is the new name of ivory... ;-) 

 

As far as I understand, it is still legal to buy, sell and ship pre-1947 ivory artifacts within the EU, but you might need a CITES certificate stating that the item meets the requirements.

 

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/guidance_ivory.pdf

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