Jump to content
Brian

Omori Hisanori?

Recommended Posts

Brian, I am not Tosogu expert but this is a late replica and not that good. Also, if you notice the careful language Bonhams have used. Always beware when they say “after”, “in the style of”, etc. Clever language indicating that it is an imitation. 
 

Herewith attached for reference the real thing. 

2F7214EF-6FE8-4E9E-BED5-E273DF4FBAD1.jpeg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A careful examination of the enlarged images shows quite clearly that this is a modern cast copy. Steel casting with electroplated details in silver and gold on an initial copper flash plating. The copper base plating is typical of industrial processes, it adheres well to the steel so that the silver and gold has an easier bond to the copper rather directly onto the steel.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also usually helpful to look for any evidence that a tsuba has been mounted.  The seppa usually cause wear and protect the seppadai from corrosion, or cause corrosion in the seppadai, depending on the metals.  There is no evidence that this tsuba was ever mounted.  The plate also doesn't look like it was forged.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ford Hallam said:

A careful examination of the enlarged images shows quite clearly that this is a modern cast copy. Steel casting with electroplated details in silver and gold on an initial copper flash plating. The copper base plating is typical of industrial processes, it adheres well to the steel so that the silver and gold has an easier bond to the copper rather directly onto the steel.

 

An image that proves your opinion. ↓As you can see, no translation is needed.

https://twitter.com/yakozen777/status/1195466920281038848

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though so - at least this post wasn't side tracked for long!

 

Edited by kissakai
Added extra info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yas. Good work, there is a growing list of these 'good fakes'. We really must make a comprehensive list to avoid falling for them. If I had paid  £ 2,125 (AU$ 3,795) to a bona fide auction house for that $20 replica I would be very, very unhappy!

Grev. I personally think your example has a more pleasant visage of the man, certainly less surprised! [Authentic or not]

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Ford Hallam said:

A careful examination of the enlarged images shows quite clearly that this is a modern cast copy. Steel casting with electroplated details in silver and gold on an initial copper flash plating. The copper base plating is typical of industrial processes, it adheres well to the steel so that the silver and gold has an easier bond to the copper rather directly onto the steel.

 

Are those greenish stains evidence of the copper base plating? I see a few of them even on the “iron” area near the rim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dale, it is not about pleasant or not, surprised or unfazed.

You need to train your eyes more in order to recognise:

- quality

- execution

- chiselling / mei strokes etc

 

Admittedly, my image is rather low-res and not very good quality because it is a photo of a photo from ToBien 545. However, you should be able to discern in the original the high level of intricate detail carved (remember, this is a kozuka and look at the tassels, the robe, the eyes, etc), the smoothness of the lines, the feeling of depth and three dimensionality, the colour palette and so on. 
I am not even going into the mei and kao which you need to compare side by side for size, inclines of strokes, proportion of the elements to each other, placement etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael, If its not about pleasant what's the point - you like, what you like, or do you have to put up with ugly just because it has a 'big' name or 'big' price attached? Oh and my eyes are 20/20.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somebody in Germany tried to sell me another example of the rooster Tsuba which was exactly like that in the Bonham's auction and he even told me that it was the Bonham's piece, he won the auction. In fact it was just another copy of that.

 

I had it in hand and on the first glance it looked okay, but on the second I could see that it was not made by a tsubako, no traces of chiseling, no nuances, no traces of wear or age - anything very lifeless, very industrial. But it was nearly perfectly made, don't underestimate the fakers, and I think without a lot of experience someone will easily step into that trap. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The increasing threat of fakes to our field of art is something that has occupied my thoughts a lot in recent months.

 

Where I can I will continue to offer my own technical observations, as a craftsman, to provide ammunition to our community with which to protect our wallets and pride ;-)

 

But it seems to me that the most reliable defence against fakers is to develop a finer eye. I'm still not absolutely sure as to how this 'education' might be best achieved though. The development of a reliable critical aesthetic eye has been a long standing philosophical conundrum but perhaps we might at least begin to more carefully define the issue and thereby find our way to a semblance of reliable connoisseurship.

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter D. I can imagine the asking price was higher than the auction price? This is one aspect where the 'manufacturers' get peanuts while the middlemen make the big money - and no one likes to lose money on a bad deal. Does Bonham's and Christies have their own assesors? If they do it is time for retirement!

 

Ford, Just like Yas's examples - these turn up  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TSUBA-Antique-samurai-sword-guard-koshirae-katana-wakizashi-Rare-F-S/184026335453?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

and like the rooster guard they are either plain or come with iroe - could I suggest they are/were made by the same factory? This is not some backyard business melting lead sinkers, this is high end forgery. [These are a pet peeve of mine]

 

Brian, I know you posted the Bonham's link which gives us all the information, but I have noticed that many links from posts - disappear or are removed from the parent site over time. Could I put a suggestion to copy an image and include it so that when the original site vanishes we still have an image to compare [It would be a good general practice for all members so that information is retained] Just a thought.

forgery.jpg

Edited by Spartancrest
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dale, you are welcome to add them to a post. They can be anywhere in this thread. One of these days I'm going to need a "Fakes" category to discuss these. But it would be a sad day when we have to discuss fakes instead of the real thing. But it is becoming close to necessary. One other thing Ford...aside from the "finer eye" being vital, collectors also need to start becoming fussier about their seller. Buying from known sellers, with a decent guarantee is also important. But this removes that "hidden treasure" aspect that gets most people fooled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Michael, If its not about pleasant what's the point - you like, what you like, or do you have to put up with ugly just because it has a 'big' name or 'big' price attached? Oh and my eyes are 20/20.

Dale,

There is nothing wrong with buying what you like. The problem comes when you are buying it thinking it is high quality workmanship and paying the price for it as such. By studying the fine detail and quality workmanship as Michael suggests you can better understand and assess what you are looking at. If you like what you see and are happy at the price then that's fine. But if you buy it believing it to be much higher quality and values than it is through a lack of understanding then it isn't.

As I have quoted to the point of boredom

Not liking something doesn't make it bad but equally liking it doesn't make it good.

Oh and BTW eyes being 20/20 means they are average. The term has been misconstrued to suggest it is perfect but in fact it just describes average vision. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately there have been numerous pseudo big names on Bonhams which look just about possibly right but actually merely so-so. I have looked at various tosogu with famous craftsmen's signatures chiselled on the back but average or mediocre work on the front. So, just because something is being sold by a large auction house, it does not mean that it is legitimate or authentic. Also, even if an affluent collector of yore had previously owned it, that also would not be a guarantee - there were plenty of 'duds' even in the Walter Compton collection, let alone lesser collecting demigods.

One, therefore, needs to be sceptical, analytical and discerning when pursuing big names, especially when they seem under-priced. Probably the only provenance I would take unquestionably would be the Museum of Sword Fittings, which dispersed incredible items at not exorbitant prices and even though they were often not papered, they were genuine and highly valuable.

 

Dale, my vision is far from 20-20: in fact, I have both myopia and astigmatism, but at low dioptrical measurements and easily corrected with glasses. But I was talking about the 'proverbial aesthetic eye of connoisseurship' that Ford also mentioned above. You took my words literally, instead of as a constructive didactic suggestion. Perhaps you need more time and more exposure to items, and that is fine. Indeed such a journey takes decades and numerous instances of learning and appreciation generously shared by people. I have been very fortunate to have had such exposure reasonably regularly prior to the Covid-19 restrictions and some very patient teachers. 

 

Anyway, we are lucky to have Ford share his knowledge and insights with us and we need to learn as much as we can from him and others. And we should continuously train our eyes. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came across a version of this tsuba in a small auction in the UK a couple of years ago and wondered if it was genuine and decided it wasn't  (Only saw pics on the internet). By coincidence I picked up an old Bonhams New York catalogue (16 Oct 2012) on the same day and there was a version of this tsuba (lot 1062, signed Umetada) that went for big money (over $1000).  It also had provenance: ex St John's University Collection, so maybe it was the real deal.  I will emphasize that I am not saying the Bonhams tsuba was a fake.  I have also seen similar copies for sale on the internet for less than $50.

My concern is that some NMB correspondents seem to be declaring with some certainty that various tsuba that sold for big money were in fact fakes.  I wonder if the purchasers of these tsuba are NMB readers and might take them back to the auction house with a 'Hey, this tsuba I bought here is a fake.  Joe Bloggs on the NMB says so.'  Are we stirring up a hornets nest?

 

best regards, John

 

crab.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All.

The tsuba in the original post was brought up in an earlier discussion when an identical one was for sale on Ebay.  One might wish to assume that a major auction house, offering specialist sales might have access to sufficient expertise to be able to spot these things, however a lot do slip through the net and of course it is in the auctioneers interest to sell items for as much as possible so the natural tendency will be to believe the object. 

 

Smaller and provincial auction houses are in my experience even worse though sometimes when you have built a client relationship with them a porter might tip you the wink at a viewing.  That is not an option online.

 

As regards stirring up a hornet's nest, the auction conditions of sale make it well nigh impossible to pin anything down, to quote from one small section of Bonham's conditions as an example, though all are very similar.  

"It is for you to satisfy yourself as to each and every aspect of a Lot, including its authorship, attribution, condition, provenance, history, background, authenticity, style, period, age, suitability, quality, roadworthiness (if relevant), origin, value and Estimated selling price (including the Hammer Price)"  Returning an item is hedged around with difficulties as well so I think what the paragraph and our experience tells us is caveat emptor.  

 

I would love to say that I have never fallen for anything false but that wouldn't be true.  I read somewhere a long time ago that you always pay for knowledge, you can pay cash, you can pay in time studying, you can pay in travel to see things in hand.  I can certainty look back to things I bought and should have left alone, and the ones that really hurt, the things I should have bought like a shot and didn't.  Part of why this hobby is so compelling is that you never get to the end of it, there is always more to learn.

 

Enough of this, I must pay for my Ebay lots which I probably shouldn't have bought.:laughing:

 

All the best.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope to see the original one (or a least a similar one) found in the Hawkshaw collection in 1910 (#2163)..... In the description it is mentioned that this piece is signed by Iwamoto Konkwan but "probably fairly  modern Tokyo work" .  Already at this time ! 

20201227_165451.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

My concern is that some NMB correspondents seem to be declaring with some certainty that various tsuba that sold for big money were in fact fakes.  I wonder if the purchasers of these tsuba are NMB readers and might take them back to the auction house with a 'Hey, this tsuba I bought here is a fake.  Joe Bloggs on the NMB says so.'  Are we stirring up a hornets nest?

 

John

 

While I can appreciate your concern I don't feel my post wasn't all that controversial. As I suggested, a careful examination of the item in question reveals exactly what it is. 

I'm certainly not asking anyone to take my word as the authority at all. Merely that one's own eyes ought to be able to reveal the reality of the piece.

 

As far as I'm concerned this 'tsuba' is a straightforward cast copy fake. And if it isn't pointed out in a forthright manner then there will undoubtedly more in the future. 

 

But as Geraint has pointed out, the language used in their description absolves the auction house of responsibility. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John B. This is probably veering off topic, but not only auction houses get it wrong, there are many instances of Museums [Not just middling ones either] that are displaying reproductions or out right fakes. If auction houses are reluctant or inept in order to check their stock, Museums are often much harder to convince even with overwhelming evidence. I don't know what can be done about it but as Ford, Brian and others have said, we all need to keep our eyes open.

The second illustration is not a fake, but the Museum is claiming it is something it is not.

[PS. I am not picking on English Museums, they were just examples close at hand.]

 

ashmolean extra 5a EA1956.2093 page.jpg

jameel.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be a little late, even unnecessary but going back to last Saturday when Dale commented about the features of a figure depicted on a kozuka- I didn't agree with his opinion but felt he was entitled to have his own take on it.

I am not sure why I am getting in here but feel that Dale's research on duplicates and fakes and the confusion over just what is the 'real thing' and what is not has been a revelation and didn't Dale get this ball rolling ? Isn't Dale in fact the man who first brought the issue to NMB Tosogu adherents rather than someone accepting of spurious 'take offs'.

I'm not wanting an argument here but felt that the depth of Dale's input might not have been realised  by everybody?

Yas too, of course and Ford, long term 'Protector of the Faith'.   Just wonderful.

One more unneeded comment- Dale is a fellow Aussie and we need to band together in times like this where our biggest trading partner is non too subtly putting the screws on our nation's exports. And they make lousy copies of tsuba.

 

Roger j

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The kozuka illustrated in Yakozen tweet (cf the link provided by Yas in post #6) reminds me of the kozuka I posted on this forum in 2013:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Spartancrest said:

Brian, I will take your offer and post this picture of the tsuba from the opening post.  

If I might add another to ponder on, also from a Bonhams auction. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26087/lot/1147/

What thoughts on this piece?

HAMANO.jpg

Konkan.jpg

Dale, Bonham’s has lately been selling a lot of these replicas or imitations.  I have spent numerous hours also being tempted and even viewing items in person, hoping it would be a genuine article. Unfortunately, I have often been disappointed. 

 

As mentioned, notice the careful language: ‘Hamano-style’ and “After Iwamoto Konkan’. So, even though their descriptions correctly stipulate that both tsuba bear the name and mei of the famous maker, Bonham’s carefully directs the reader way from the actual master and points towards another maker. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted on social media about the Oomori sculpture that had been restored by a particular craftsman in Tokyo in the 1970s.
Now, those that have been duplicated more elaborate casting techniques are no longer distinguishable. It is left to the buyer to subjectively choose "this looks real".

 

徳埜英辰作(花押) 離縁 .jpg

大森波図 縁頭20191216 19000JPY.jpg

大森英秀(花押)波図 縁頭45000JPY.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yas. They are getting better fakes every day - it is getting very difficult to tell from auction photos - you need to see in hand but that is not always possible.

Michael. Yes they cover their tracks with those disclaimers, Bonhams though missed out badly on that Konkan [or is it Konkwan?], someone didn't do their research very well - they could have added some provenance on that guard as having once belonged to Marcus B. Huish a prominent early collector and writer on the subject. I was hoping someone would pick up on this when I included it in the post - sadly not.  At least we have a rough time line when the piece was made - prior to 1912.

Konkan konkwan huish.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...