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First time buying tsuba

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Hello guys, first post of many to come (i hope).  I stumbled upon an auction of various items from a very big and old country side house, which incluided paintings, old forniture and some collections. Among them i saw a few Japanese items that caught my eye: about 10 tsuba.  

I barely know about tsuba, but i have always liked Japanese culture, and as a military man myself, ive got very tempted to buy them for display at my place or maybe start my own collection.  

The problem is, as i stated before, i barely know about tsuba, and im worried that i might end up paying overprice for them or straight buying trash/fake items.  

The other problem i have is that due to covid restrictions in my country, for the moment i have a single photo of each tsuba available, and i wont have access to them until later this week.  

So, here is my question for you guys: can you help me decide, from these few photos, if these tsuba are real/not cast/fake and give me a very rough estimate of the value of them? i would love to buy as many as I can!

 

Thank you in advance!

110.jpeg

107.jpeg

112.jpeg

111.jpeg

114.jpeg

113.jpeg

105.jpeg

106.jpeg

109.jpeg

108.jpeg

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Hello Ignacio,

 

Long ago there was a seller on eBay from Chile who sold a steady stream of decent tsuba. I always wondered how they got there.

Just FYI:     My wife lived and worked in Santiago for 1 year, and we spent a month traveling down the country together. Chilean is a difficult accent for me, but we had some good adventures.

 

Many of those seem decent tsuba. I'm very curious about #106 because I cannot read the signature.  Help George, Nobody-san, or any of our other more fluent readers?

It looks like 知熊 to my eyes, but I cannot find anyone by that name in the Haynes Fittings Artist Index nor does it make sense when popped into a name dictionary. Very curious tsuba. First guess is Kaga kinko work?

 

They all look real to me,

but determining value is speculative- especially on the signed ones, properly reading the signature, determining who it is, and whether the signature is real or "added later".

To me #106 and #108 are interesting, but 105, 113, 114 might be worth more.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Curran said:

Hello Ignacio,

 

Long ago there was a seller on eBay from Chile who sold a steady stream of decent tsuba. I always wondered how they got there.

Just FYI:     My wife lived and worked in Santiago for 1 year, and we spent a month traveling down the country together. Chilean is a difficult accent for me, but we had some good adventures.

 

Many of those seem decent tsuba. I'm very curious about #106 because I cannot read the signature.  Help George, Nobody-san, or any of our other more fluent readers?

It looks like 知熊 to my eyes, but I cannot find anyone by that name in the Haynes Fittings Artist Index nor does it make sense when popped into a name dictionary. Very curious tsuba. First guess is Kaga kinko work?

 

They all look real to me,

but determining value is speculative- especially on the signed ones, properly reading the signature, determining who it is, and whether the signature is real or "added later".

To me #106 and #108 are interesting, but 105, 113, 114 might be worth more.

 

 

Thank you for your quick answer Curran.

 

Glad you and your wife got to know Chile! The south is very beautiful specially.

 

The fact that these tsuba got here, relatively far is what draws me to them! very intriguing. 

 

BTW, The house that is holding the auction is filled with military memorabilia: officers swords from Chile and other countries, naval artifacts, antique ships models and paintings among them.

 

I'll keep an eye for the information about #106!

 

Now, knowing that there was a Chilean tsuba seller brings my spectations down a bit, i'm hoping to not to find many interested people down here in these items so i could get a good price, lol.

 

Anyway, Curran, if you could pick 2 or 3 of them, only with the information on the pictures, which one would you get?

 

Thanks again, this is a very interesting hobby to get into!

 

 

 

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No no lad.    --I've already given up a lot just to help a new one.

Translating and finding them in the books then confirming signatures can be a fair bit of work.

When I said, "To me #106 and #108 are interesting, but 105, 113, 114 might be worth more"    I was being generously honest.

 

Without doing the research, I would pick #106 and #108, but I might find one of the others more valuable-- if I did the work.

   Having been at it a long time now, those two are the ones that interest me the most in terms of materials and design. Those are the ones that I personally would pick up. I have no idea what #108 is signed, nor will I try to translate it.

I found #106 odd enough that I tried to do the work on that one. It looks Kaga to me, but Kaga like that are not signed.... so I became curious what the heck it could be. The second character is more commonly found on later Higo pieces.  Very curious.  Unfortunately the signature yielded no more information to me.

 

I really don't want to view it from the money angle.

That is work. This is play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Ignacio - you have stumbled on some pretty good examples - wish I had done that as a beginner! I personally like 110, I collect what attracts me, value and cost should not come into it unless you are a dealer. You could have the most expensive guard around and still hate the look of it. Go with your heart you will enjoy it more. You asked Curran what he would get and he gave a good answer. You could ask a hundred members what they like or would bid on and get a different answer each time. Welcome to NMB and have fun, it is a great hobby.

 

As for prices on each that is very hard to judge, but there are no obvious duds in that group.

 

[I would say it is getting to be good practice to show what you might bid on, here on NMB, if you are unsure, because there are many fakes that should be steered away from.] 

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Thanks again Curran, and thanks Spartancrest for your insight, I'll definitely go that route.

 

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If the price for 105 stays low you can buy it for me. :D

I know near to nothing about tsuba but would pay you 150US$+shipping for it, i think its worth much more just from how it looks.

 

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Ignacio - you have already got one order from Christian. You could become a trader overnight! :laughing:

Well if you do, keep me in mind for 110 !!!!!! :glee:

Christian - 105, it is sure one of the best!

 

Ignacio don't post the auction site - the prices will go up!

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Hey Curran, you are correct, item 106 is 知熊 Chikuma or Tomokuma.  Neither are listed in Haynes and frankly, it looks like a BS name to me...  Translates to "Knowing Bears" - what is he, a Native American???  Very poorly cut mei, so I'm leaning towards BS....

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3 hours ago, Tanto54 said:

H Translates to "Knowing Bears" - what is he, a Native American???  Very poorly cut mei, so I'm leaning towards BS....

 

George!

Thank you for help this curiosity stricken collector.  I got "Wise-Bear" and thought there was no way I had that correct.

Good to know he, Kicking-Bird, and Wind-in-His-Hair weren't sitting around the camp fire making tsuba while laughing about John Dumb-Bear (Dunbar).

 

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Last Samurai , Avatar - all Dances with wolves rip offs. Kicking-Bird looked good in her wedding outfit you would have to agree?

George, glad you didn't mention 'Wind in his trousers' a real stinker. :laughing:

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Actually #110 is the one I like the most, but we will see how this auction goes.

 

I won't post the auction site, and due to covid restrictions, the auction will be done primarily by Zoom, as it's quite difficult to get to the auction house in person.

Anyway, i hope there are not so many tsuba collectors participating, so I could get good prices $$.

 

Thanks for the information about #106, it seems like its a no-go!

 

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#106   - the workmanship looks Kaga or later Umetada to me. Decent piece that would fly under the radar of most, except for that signature.

The odd signature is the land-mine on the beach that makes it a short trip.

 

#110 is a design we see now and then, though I forget which school. Echizen school?  Go through a few books or auction catalogs and I would find one.

This one is in exceptional condition. A safe bet.

 

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