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Bob M.

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

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Dear Bob,

 

On Item 33, instead of Haynes 04585, I believe it is a different artist (Haynes 04584) for several reasons.  First, the style of the work does not seem to match Haynes 04585, and second, on Haynes' own website he indicates that a tsuba with a very similar style and the same mei as your tsuba is Haynes 04584 (instead of 04585).  In your writeup, you provided some background information about the artist that might lead someone to think it was Haynes 04585 (e.g., a pupil of Masatsune), but I'm not sure where that information came from or if it is correct.  Here are signatures of Haynes 04585 from Wakayama and Sesko (which are fairly similar, but not exact (and use a different location) and the edges of the mei photos show a consistent artistic style for his tsuba that is very different from your tsuba).  I have also attached a page from the Haynes' website with an exact signature. location (and artistic style) match from Haynes 05584  (where Haynes points out that "this is not the Kitani man of a generation before" meaning NOT Haynes 04585).  http://www.shibuiswords.com/haynesTsu52.html

 

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For the N° 33 design of a koto , a description in the "Token Bijutsu - october 1999" states that it is a reference to the necessity for gentlemanly flexibility.

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Seems to me that the information I have for this tsuba is a mishmash of both 04584 and 04585 .

 

This was the info. as shown with the ebay lot , as I said ,from a Japanese seller . Just goes to show how difficult it can be to unravel the facts , even for native Japanese speakers.

 

Once again I have to thank you all for your input  and insights - I would like to call upon your assistance with future items , where it appears that there are questions and observations with nearly every piece...

 

The next tsuba , Item No. 34 , will be posted tomorrow ( Friday ) . It may raise a little interest...

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14 hours ago, Kurikata said:

For the N° 33 design of a koto , a description in the "Token Bijutsu - october 1999" states that it is a reference to the necessity for gentlemanly flexibility.

 

I inferred something along those lines. The theme pops up too much in Japanese art. George can probably lay down more of the meaning.

 

With the korean gayageum, I've watched documentary that claimed a close study of the bridges was the quickest measure of the mastery of the maker. True? I dunno, I'm just a newbie watching a documentary that no longer believes ever documentary that claims samurai swords cut through gun barrels.

       But I guess a lot of meaning can also be taken from the issue of placement of the bridges on a koto or a gayageum. They certainly aren't set as they are on a western instrument, and finger tension on them can be placed on both sides of the bridge. Put another way, they have a lot of flexibility that master musician can use. So the 'flexibility' meaning is quite plausible to me.

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May be mistaken , but I seem to remember references to broken koto bridges  as a theme on tsuba . The bridges shown on No.33 are incomplete as required by the design , but not necessarily broken - anyone remember this theme also ?

 

I was wondering if the flexibility meaning was another of these Japanese word games or puns ( or is this just a western misconception ? ) referencing the need to be able to use/move the bridge to suit any situation , as well as being able to switch between matters military and matters artistic .

 

Moving of the bridges on the koto to suit the music , being analagous to the use of tactics on the battle field...

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Item No. 34   Iron Tsuba with gold silver and copper inlays   9.01 cm x 7.21 cm x 0.41 cm 

 

Signed  Front - Yamashiro - koku - jyu Kanyosai

              Back  - Nanban - tetsu - kitae Yoshitsugu - sei

 

Subject of -  Dragon and Tiger  with quiet appearance on rear and fierce on front.

 

Is there a name for this shape of tsuba ? School ?

 

NBTHK papers attached

 

A most unusual design , any ideas as to why , or do we need a reason ? Acquired direct from Japan approx 8 years ago.

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On 4/29/2021 at 2:46 AM, Kurikata said:

 

 

Rather unique tsuba.

On top of that:   I don't know if I have seen a winged tiger before.

 

 

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Doing some digging about on documentation for Item 34 - It has been given a classification of Reijyu - zu Tsuba by NBTHK.

 

Is this the term for its shape ? Have never heard of the description before.

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Item No. 35 - Iron Tsuba with Gold Mei and highlights  8.00 cm x 7.84 cm x 0.55 cm at centre , 0.58 cm at rim.

 

Signed Shigeyoshi

 

Plain iron tsuba , laquered at some time , with the gold outlining of the hitsu-ana really standing out against the dark background.

The fukurin is part of the piece , not a later edition . There is however an undercut along the edge of the fukurin which makes it look as if it is a later addition. In order to facilitate this ,the outer part of the tsuba plate all the way round has been carved with a tapering profile.

 

The hitsu-ana shape is ornate - Chinese influence ?

 

Can anyone help with likely school attribution ?

 

Bought on Ebay from a Japanese seller about eight years ago...

 

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Item No.36    A Kozuka in pale shibuichi , with copper and shakudo , gold and silver details and inlays.

 

Subject of an otter with a captured catfish , next to a stream with bank and sluice gate ( ? ) .

 

Signed -  Kikugawa Mitsuyuki saku - school ?

 

Ex : H. Seymour Trower collection

Ex : H. G. Beasley collection

Ex : Naunton collection - this is claimed by Sothebys when the piece was auctioned in the early 1980's - I cannot find it in the Joly book of the collection . Is there another book / part to the Naunton collection or were Sothebys misinformed ?

 

The otter and other detailing finely carved.

 

The shibuichi has strong ' tiger ' striping when viewed in the right light - I have taken a few pictures at different angles to try and show this.

 

Is this an encouragement to the values of persistance bringing their own rewards , as the catfish is notoriously slippery and difficult to hang on to ?

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Hi Bob, I think that kozuka might refer to the Otter Festival.

 

Dassai Ki 獺祭忌(だっさいき)Dassai memorial day - Otter Festival Anniversary

Dassai 獺祭 is a name of the Otter Festival, also an ancient name of part of the prefecture Yamaguchi. Fishotters catch fish and place them on the riverside, almost as if they wanted to show them as offerings. This custom has been the subject of many old poems.

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Hi Bruno , Hi Dirk ,

 

Many Thanks for your contributions above . It is great to be able to expand knowledge with each others help...

 

I must admit the Otter Festival is a new one on me.

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 11:07 AM, Bob M. said:

Doing some digging about on documentation for Item 34 - It has been given a classification of Reijyu - zu Tsuba by NBTHK.

 

Is this the term for its shape ? Have never heard of the description before.

About item no. 34:

- reijū zu - sacred beasts

The shape (in the NBTHK paper generically reported as kawari-gata) is sometimes referred as fundō-gata (分銅形).

Bye, Mauro

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Item No. 37  Iron Marugata Sukashi Tsuba 7.00cm dia. x 0.43 cm thick

 

Subject of Maple leaves in positive and negative silhouette.

 

Signed Yoshikuni , unknown school  / era....

 

Simple but effective motif especially when viewed straight on against a light background , as second pair of pictures.

 

 

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Hi Geraint ,

 

Thanks for your observations . 

 

I am finding it very difficult to make out the signature on this piece , even with trying different lighting / angles , rubbing etc.

 

There is always the powder method of highlighting marks or indentations , but I am reluctant to use it . 

 

The pictures do show up the signature somewhat clearer than looking in hand , but I have had to rely on information from when I acquired the tsuba , some years ago .  I must compliment you on being able to decipher them - sharper eyes than me  !

 

Regards

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21 minutes ago, Bob M. said:

sharper eyes than me

Dear Bob.

 

Oh , how I wish that were true!  That part just jumped out from the photograph.  By the way another lovely tsuba.  I love the positive/negative aspect of the design.

 

All the best.

 

 

 

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Bob

What I do with my mei images is to take the photos outside but I take the photo at N.S.E.W (various directions)and move the camera up and down

With a camera or digital camera this only takes a few minutes

Hopefully at leas one will show the image reasonably clearly

 

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Item No. 38  Fuchi Kashira in shibuichi with gold , silver and shakudo .

 

Monkey and  trainer with all the accoutrements .

 

Inscribed Myochin . 

 

Another set with a questionable signature ?

 

Decent quality work  , although not outstanding...

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Hi Bob, indeed, a solid set, but maybe not as outstanding as other pieces. It's portraying sarumawashi, training a monkey to dance - but you already caught that.


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