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    Quite true, which is why the question mark.  However, if you had a 62 cm katana and a  56 cm wakazashi, how different in size should the tsuba be?  I was skeptical also;  these are probably both from the same pattern book, though by different producers; they are virtually identical in overall size, the small open areas are different in size on the two.    At a shinsa, if presented as a daisho, do you feel that it would be bounced?  Sadly, the  Burlingame  Shinsa was cancelled; I was going to find out; well someday later (hopefully).







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    John, I have seen a papered daisho belonging to Blaine Navroth in which some of the work was obviously not done by the master; exactly the same theme, but the stonework in the walls of the sho was done differently; there were also other small technical differences between the dai and some of the sho, although the scene is the same on both.  For example, if the buyer wants a daisho in x amount of time (deadline), and the master has x-(some period of time), does he tell the buyer that he can not do it?  In a perfect world, yes; in reality, he has his best student do some of the work on the sho.  The buyer is always right.    Art is great, but it was done to put rice on the table.  So, is a daisho in which some of the work on one piece is not done by the master still  a daisho?  Just a thought.

   Blaine just told me he has 3 other daisho in which the pieces were made at different times, 2 of those in which the sho was made  later by different makers; one papered with a 72.  

   My own opinion is that my pair are not a daisho; just a fortunate acquisition of two nice tsuba.  Would have been great to hear a shinsa team"s opinion; second question, is if presented as a daisho, and rejected as a daisho, would they have said resubmit the individual tsuba, or would they have made some comment on the authenticity of the tsuba in the pink? paper.

   Two more comparison pictures showing small differences by stacking.






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John c. At least you can rule out any casting possibilities with your 'twins'?

I would like to know if a lack of size difference rules out a daisho? Are there any hard and fast rules involved? 

These two pieces turned up from the same seller within a week of each other, the size difference is minimal [if in fact the dimensions given are correct?] The image with the matting background shows a more marked size difference. Same pattern and some of the same tool marks, perhaps a gap in time of manufacture?


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A lovely daisho from the Tenpo/Saotome school.

One of my favorite schools. Great find.


Now the question is - how to get them from Tas. to VA.? ;-)



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just been looking through Greville Cooke's book on the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery tsuba collection and ran into 1930M565

A Shoami school example from ca.1700    [84mm x 81mm x 6.7mm]

Sorry about the photo quality but you may be able to contact him for a better image?


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  • 2 months later...

I apologize for not thanking all the responders earlier!  My bad; got distracted and forgot (old age) about this post (and the lead up and follow up to SF tokenkai).  As atonement, another daisho, put together at that show.  Noticed one on a table and realized I had looked at something like it very recently on JAUCE, so picked it up and lucked out on the other.  Interesting that the sort of necesary small differences involve one with chisel marks arcing clockwise, the other one has them going counterclockwise.





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Yup, I second the opinion that they are even better because they have opposing arc directions. Almost gives it a sort of yin and yang feel, or that the two blades would have "converging" motion on a target if you had one in each hand.

Good on ya for putting those two together... always nice when circumstances line up like that because it sure doesn't happen often!

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