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


Bob M.
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No. 18 Iron Sukashi Tsuba depicting a rain dragon 7.66cm x 7.46cm x 0.57cm . Early ? 19th cent. Purchased at auction some 9 years ago .

 

Ex. Clarence McKenzie Lewis Jr. collection

Ex. Naunton Collection Plate XXXVII - No 902 Okamoto work

Signed  ( indistinctly ) Sueshiro Magoyuki . Also -  Matsudai Ni Koreo Kosu which I believe translates as ' made by the last of the family '

 

I cannot find any reference to this artist in Sesko's Geneologies , is there an entry in Haynes ?

Possibly a commision piece as the signature is on the rear. If last of family , presumably last of school ?

 

A powerfully carved rain dragon amongst clouds , with unusual treatment of the scales running down the backbone , most clearly seen on the omote.

Nice Iron in good order.

 

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Dear Bob,

 

I would read No. 18 as a message instead of a name/mei: "Matsudai ni kore nokosu." (I checked Haynes just in case and cannot find anyone with a name like this).  Instead of the "last of a family", the meaning is "leaving this for future generations/eternity."  That's the kind of message that a maker might put on the Omote of a tsuba that he was particularly proud of...  Love the dragon's scales and feel that the nakago-ana points toward an interesting sword.

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Hi George ,

 

Thanks for your input - is there a reference in Haynes to a  Sueshiro Magoyuki by any chance ?

 

The ' made by the last of the family '  bit came from the description of the piece in the Naunton Collection book , but as you say , the ' leaving this for future generations ' interpretation is much more fitting .

 

Best Regards

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No. 19 - A modern ( less than 100 years old ) tsuba 9.0cm x 8.5cm x 0.5cm . Copper with gold and silver inlays.

 

Closest I could come up with , in keeping with the time of year.

 

I have asked for an interpretation of the ' judgement ' from the very talented members in the translation section of the board , but please feel free to pass your own verdict.

 

The rear of the tsuba is also shown - a little earlier than I would normally post - to give whoever is interested a bit of time to come up with what might be on the front . All will be revealed late tomorrow ( Thursday ) .

 

Please do not worry , due gravity and seriousness will apply again from item 20...

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bob M. said:

Hi George ,

 

Thanks for your input - is there a reference in Haynes to a  Sueshiro Magoyuki by any chance ?

 

The ' made by the last of the family '  bit came from the description of the piece in the Naunton Collection book , but as you say , the ' leaving this for future generations ' interpretation is much more fitting .

 

Best Regards

 

Hey Bob, for Number 18, there are 5 kanji - three on the right and two on the left.  If it were a mei, then the two on the left would be the name.  Those two characters do not match any recorded artist (including Sueshiro Magoyuki  -  which would be a very nonstandard name anyway).  I checked Haynes and other sources.  On the other hand, if it is a poetic saying (as I am suggesting), it would be read from right to left.  In that case the three characters on the right are  (from top to bottom) "Matsu dai ni"  and the two on the left are (from top to bottom) "nokosu kore".  In traditional Japanese poetic reading (taken from Chinese grammar), that would be read: "Matsudai ni kore nokosu" and mean "leaving this for future generations/eternity."  Therefore, you can't have both the poetic saying and a mei - you don't have enough characters.  The poetic saying above uses all five kanji, and none of the kanji in any combination make up a name that I can find in Haynes.  Nevertheless, I recommend that you post this one in the translation section and see what the experts there think.  P.S. the Naunton Collection Book has many errors....

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On 3/30/2021 at 8:53 AM, Bob M. said:

No. 18 Iron Sukashi Tsuba depicting a rain dragon 7.66cm x 7.46cm x 0.57cm . Early ? 19th cent. Purchased at auction some 9 years ago .

 

Ex. Clarence McKenzie Lewis Jr. collection

Ex. Naunton Collection Plate XXXVII - No 902 Okamoto work

Signed  ( indistinctly ) Sueshiro Magoyuki . Also -  Matsudai Ni Koreo Kosu which I believe translates as ' made by the last of the family '

 

I cannot find any reference to this artist in Sesko's Geneologies , is there an entry in Haynes ?

Possibly a commision piece as the signature is on the rear. If last of family , presumably last of school ?

 

A powerfully carved rain dragon amongst clouds , with unusual treatment of the scales running down the backbone , most clearly seen on the omote.

Nice Iron in good order.

 

IMG_1569.JPG

IMG_1570.JPG

 

That's an absolute stunner. Love the sentiment of the mei as well - the artist clearly thought he'd produced something worthy of posterity and he'd be right.

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Thanks to everyone for looking / contributing - 

 

Supposedly inspired by Shinsui Ito , this Tsuba shows a scene from a bath house.

 

A translation of the inscription would be most welcome...

 

Certainly a striking piece of work , although maybe not worth waiting for.

 

And so  , for the ' reveal ' - 

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12 hours ago, Bob M. said:

 

Supposedly inspired by Shinsui Ito , this Tsuba shows a scene from a bath house.

 

A translation of the inscription would be most welcome...

 

 

 

 

深水画意 - Shinsui's motif

雪洲刻 - Sesshu carved.

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From the ridiculus to the sublime , to coin a phrase - 

 

Item No. 20  Iron Mokkogata Tsuba  8.58cm x 8.28cm x 0.39cm ( 0.55cm over rim )

 

Shakudo plugs , sunburst pattern engraving. Fantastic patina with an oily lustre , deep chocolate brown on the field of the tsuba with the rim showing an almost charcoal grey.

 

Much better in the hand than photographed.

 

NBTHK papered to Myochin . Age unknown , but I would guestimate this to mid 18th cent. - please let me have your thoughts...

 

 

 

 

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The iron is smooth , but not so smoothed by any coating as to make the engraved 'rays' undetectable to touch . However , in photographing the interior surfaces of the sekigane , there is a difference in colour between them and the colour on the surface of the piece .

 

Also , and I had never seen this before, the photograph shows clear evidence of a two plate construction. This of course , has implications for the mimi and it's fitting or carving or both. I guess that having a rim made from another  piece of metal would explain the colour difference...

 

Thanks for making me look a little closer ! Any comments as to the fit of the parts would be much appreciated.

 

Hope you can see the detail from the attached picture.

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Hi Barry ,

 

I can see part of a line with what appears to be change in metal structure on either side in one of the holes . This would be consistent with the direction of travel of the dividing line shown , which is also consistent on the other side of the hole.

 

This looks as if two tapering pieces of steel have been fire welded or forged together. Could this have been done well enough around the edges to give a proper amalgamation and allow the mimi to have been carved from a  'solid ' block ?

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The Mimi is iron - at first I thought it was added after the making of the plate , but if so , it is incredibly well done , as there is no visual evidence of a join , either between the mimi and the face of the tsuba or on the perimeter of the Mimi itself.

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Hi Mark , 

 

Nice couple of tsuba with orchids / grasses.

 

The simple styles are also my preference - give room for the design to  ' express itself '. 

 

However when building a collection , my personal likes are not always the main consideration.

 

Glad to have you on board...

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 No. 21 - A Washida school tsuba in Sentoku , details in silver , copper and gold. 6.96cm x 6.30cm x 0.41cm . 

 

Rounded square plate carved and inlaid with a bird - cuckoo ? on an old plum tree in spring . The reverse with a frog next to a stream.

 

Signed -  Yuzenkyo Mitsuchika + Kao

 

A Tsuba for the Spring - again much better in the hand , catch the light and it Glows - very difficult to capture in a photograph.

Fine detailing and craftmanship throughout.

 

Signature published in Wakayama , Toso Kodogu Meiji Taikei , Vol.3 , p.34  ( Tokyo , 1979 )

Signature published in K.Kokubo , Shinsen Kinko Meikan , p.388 ( Tokyo , 1993 )

NBTHK papered

Also in Vol .6 p. 174 Wakayama , Tosogu Kodogu Meiji Taikei ( 1978 ) - possibly an earlier edition to the above ?

 

If anyone could oblige with pictures of the entries detailed above , I would be most grateful.

 

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Hello all,

Regarding the first 2 shots of my Tsuba with the grass & orchids, would really like to find a nice matching Fuchi Kashira set to go along with it, as I plan to use them in the Koshirae on a Katana I have.

So if anyone has a lead on a set they think would be a good pairing, please don't hesitate in dropping me a PM.

Thanks.

Mark

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