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Infinite_Wisdumb

Trying out my fake detection skills - Tsuba

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Your eye is getting better Jesse.  There are many other indicators, but as Mark said the poorly painted gold and silver should tip you off right away.  Another clear tip is the rough edge from casting/stamping.  Another more subtle hint (one that is good to use for the better fakes) is that the signature (mei) looks pressed in (cast or stamped) instead of cut with a chisel.

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Jesse

You will also note the over run of metal into the nakago-ana. A lot of fast production fakes have this, as well there is a tendency for a V shaped bottom of the nakago-ana rather than a straight line. Like George has said the 'mei' is wrong it is rather wide and not like it should be if cut with a chisel. Fakes can even have sekigane simulated by an outline marked by different colour, not a cutout and filled with copper [ this is not present of course on your example.

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Jesse,

No one seems to have mentioned the obvious test.  Put a magnet on it.  Its an obvious fake and I doubt if its even iron.  Hopefully you did not pay a lot of money for it a a major auction house.

 

Best regards

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Hi John, I don't think that the magnet test is really an indicator of fakes.  As you know, many of the legitimate tsuba are not iron and will not attract a magnet, so the magnet test merely tells you whether the "tsuba" is attracted to a magnet or not (and therefore gives you a better idea of what the tsuba is made of).  When I look at the tsuba in question, I think it is trying to emulate  shakudo or shibuichi.  Neither of those alloys would be attracted to a magnet, so the magnet test would not give any indication of whether it was fake or not.

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Every collector needs his Magnet that's for sure! I bought what I took to be a mokume of different alloys of copper only to discover under the layers of spray painted clear lacquer that in fact the guard was iron and much better than expected! [Any help in getting rid of modern spray coating would be most appreciated!] 

Simple tools like a magnet and a bone/antler or ivory stick are things beginners should get hold of. Fakes are always going to be a problem - they are just getting better at it all the time [not the one pictured]

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