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A series of fittings ( or how not to build a collection )


Bob M.
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Item No. 69

 

Any thoughts on this ?

 

Obviously Tomei is mainly known for his millet designs , do we have any other works to compare to ?

 

The kao - is it close to verified examples ?

 

If you fraudulently wanted to put a ' big ' name on this piece , why choose someone who is not associated with this type of work in the main ?

 

On the other hand could it just be a 'tribute ' signature ?

 

I don't think that there are any obvious right or wrong answers to the questions , but it would be good to have some views....

 

Regards

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Dear Bob,

 

About Item No. 69, after studying the work and mei/kakihan and comparing them to genuine pieces, I believe that it has a high probability of being genuine Tomei.  As you pointed out, the bulk of his work is millet, but I've seen a number of his pieces with hirazogan (flat inlay) that match yours very well.  While his kakihan looks almost the same throughout his career, there are differences between the one he used when signing Ginshotei and Issai.  Often, the copies get that wrong.  In your case, the kakihan is correct for his mei of Issai Tomei.  Here are some scans from Wakayama for you to compare.

 

 

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On 3/10/2021 at 11:56 AM, Bob M. said:

No 8a - Fuchi Kashira in shibuichi  from the Ichinomiya school , signed Nagatsune with kao. Subject of an Ayu fisherman , with fish swimming towards his net. As he holds the net rope in his mouth , with his right hand  he is putting a fish into the wicker basket at his waist.

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beautiful piece ...I love it

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:36 AM, Bob M. said:

No.5 Kozuka by Issai Hogen ( Tsuchiya Takechika )

 

Reverse with signature and 2 line inscription in grass script - Help !! Please...

 

 

Ex. Hartman Collection

 

Finely worked fitting from Late Edo period

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Interested in selling this piece ? ...... It's amazing 

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Item No. 70 - Iron Tsuba with Shakudo - 7.55 cm x 7.38 cm x 0.58 cm

 

In the form of a spiral , Shakudo insert liners to the hitsu-ana on each side of the seppa-dai.

 

Well made strong piece , nicely carved with good attention to detail , rich , deep dark patina.

 

Signed - Fujiwara Akimasa - the only smith shown in Sesko under Akimasa is from Kono school - any other listings in Haynes or Wakayama ?

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Item No. 71 -  Iron Tsuba with silver , gold ,copper etc - 7.97 cm x 7.45 cm x 0.38 cm

 

Subject of sage and pupil in forest near waterfall , with various accoutrements

 

Arikawa school , signed Saneyoshi  on a silver plaque or cartouche . Haynes H 08001.0 . First half of nineteenth century.

 

Highly detailed scene - is this an illustration of a tale or story ? Can we name the characters ?

 

 

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Well it's probably Fukurokuju (福禄寿) - with his staff holding the book in which the lifespan of each person on earth is contained. However, the orb is somewhat puzzling although he is said to be an incarnation of the Southern Polestar (that controlls the dates of death, whereas Northern Polestar dates of birth). But not sure on that.
 

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Item No. 72 - Iron Sukashi tsuba with gilt details 5.50 cm dia x 0.6 cm

 

Subject of buffalos head to tail  - can anyone decipher the signature  , please ?

 

Item No. 73 - Iron tsuba   7.22 cm x 6.82 cm x 0.41 cm

 

Signed   Choshu Jyu Hagi Tomotsugu   early - mid 19th cent.

 

A nice landscape with peaceful scenery by a specialist in this type of subject , unfortunately with some water damage.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bob M. said:

Item No. 72 - Iron Sukashi tsuba with gilt details 5.50 cm dia x 0.6 cm

 

Subject of buffalos head to tail  - can anyone decipher the signature  , please ?

 

長吉 - Chokichi or Nagayoshi ... can't really decipher the rest I'm afraid.

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I think the piece has been remounted quite often, meaning it did have some importance to its various owners. It's also a very unique design.

After some more searching I think the full signature will be:
山州住長吉
Sanshu Ju Nagayoshi/Chokichi

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Re Item no. 72 ,

 

Do the cut outs in the seppa-dai indicate mounting on some sort of polearm ?

 

The seppa dai has been modified to accept either a kogai or kogatana , maybe at time of original manufacture ?

 

Dirk , Thanks for the research - do we know  , is there an entry in Haynes for this craftsman ?

 

 

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Hi Bob;

No idea re the mounting on polearms. Regarding the mei - very uncommon to have Sanshu mentioned, let alone using those 2 kanji. There was a swordsmith with this signature, so it might be worth trying to track his mei down - I don't have it in my books sadly. It's unlikely to be this specific smith due to the mentioning of the Bunki jidai, however, there might've been later generations? However, also note that the tsuba and the swordsmith have different kanji for Sanshu. 

All I have is this excerpt:
‘Kōzan-oshigata’ lists an oshigata of Nagayoshi with the mei of ‘Sanshū-jū Heianjō Nagayoshi’ (三州住平安城長吉). Swordsmith directories say that Nagayoshi of the Bunki Era lived in Ise and Mikawa provinces.

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Dear Bob,

 

The Buffalo Tsuba (Number 72) is read "Yamashiro ju Nagayoshi saku" (the saku is very faint).  He's Haynes 06554.0 and from 1550-1600.  Checked the mei in Wakayama and it looks good.  The tsuba looks like it was remounted many times in its long life, and the nakagoana looks like it was widened significantly at one time -  perhaps for an "armor piercing" blade that was thick but not long in cross-section.  The triangular cutouts were probably for sekigane to fit that shorter (cross-sectional) blade.   In light of the date of original manufacture (1500's...) and shape/style around the seppadai, I think the filing for the kogatana was added later.

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Re Item No. 72

 

Hi George ,

 

WOW that is a big surprise - I had no idea the tsuba is getting on towards 500 years old - and to think I only bought it at auction because no-one else was interested.

 

There has to be a moral there somewhere...

 

Many Thanks for your research and contribution on this.

 

Best Regards

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I thought that there were relatively few cattle in feudal era Japan because of the lack of grazing land. Everything was either too mountainous or given over to rice production so I assume that there was little fodder to keep what cattle there were fat.

 

Edit: Sorry didn't intend to repeat what Piers said.

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Item No. 74 - Tsuba in Iron with Shakudo    7.66 cm x 7.06 cm x 0.43 cm

 

Subject of horses in a watery landscape . Fukurin and plugs in Shakudo.

 

Signed  - Choshu Hagi ju Katsuyoshi ( Katsutsugu )

 

Another Choshu School piece , this one featuring horses in water , and having lots of fun by the look of it . A tsuba to put a smile on your face !

 

Bought 10 years ago from a Japanese dealer.

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Dear Bob, in item No. 74, it does look like the horses are enjoying themselves!  I wonder about your mei notes: I see Katsutsugu and Katsuyoshi as different artists.  The second kanji in the name is difficult to see and could be several of the variety of kanji that fit these names.  Katsutsugu was the 5th master of the Nakai family line and worked in Hagi.  I believe that a couple of the Katsuyoshi may have used Hagi in their mei too.  Do you know which one it is?  Here's a supposed Katsutsugu from Nihonto.us for comparison.

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Re Item No. 74

 

Hi George , 

 

Many thanks for your post - The mei information I supplied was what I received when I bought the tsuba . I am somewhat lacking in reference materials for schools/signatures/eras relating to tosogu - something I am trying to address , although I don't know whether Haynes would have helped with this anyway.

 

By the look of it then , we should discard the reference to Katsutsugu and concentrate on Katsuyoshi . 

 

Best Regards

 

Bob

 

  

 

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Hi Bob,
regarding tsuba no.72, after "photoshopping" a little bit, I think the signature is a plain 山城住長吉作 - Yamashiro jū Nagayoshi saku.
So the maker should be Momoyama to early Edo – Kyōto – Heianjō-zōgan school, according to Markus Sesko's "Signatures of Japanese Sword Fittings Artists".

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Hi Mauro ,

 

Thanks for your post - this backs up in a visual way , George's thoughts and contribution from a few days ago...

 

As usual , I am indebted to everyone for their interest and help with this thread.

 

Regards

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Item No. 75 - Fuchi Kashira in Shibuichi with gold , copper , silver and shakudo

 

Subject of ancient flowering cherry tree - Tsuji school mid edo , 18th cent.

 

Provenence - 

 

G.H.Naunton Collection

W.L.Behrens Collection

Lundgren Collection , no.282

 

Published in -  W.L.Behrens Collection by Henri L Joly  ,  Volume 3 , plate LXIII , no.2394

 

All the above is quite impressive , especially for a F/K set that appears to be an associated pairing by different schools.

 

The style of the blossoms differ , as does the colour of the base shibuici. To me , the design does not ' flow together '  between the pieces and there is also the matter of a signature appearing in the underside of the kashira ( unless it was just a fitting instruction , like ' this side down ' ).

 

As usual , any comments please ?

 

 

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