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Goto? menuki bird signature?


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Dear all,


I got this menuki bird set, they were advertised as mumei goto. They are about 40mm x 15 mm in dimensions. Gold and silver dots looks to be applied over the metal. Carving looks to be done with a round chisel which if goto points to a later generation. 


I noticed that there were markings on the waves to the left (upper menuki) and to the right of the birds (lower menuki), is that part of a signature? 


Front and back of menuki




Upper menuki and "markings" to the left of the head of the bird.





The lower menuki and markings to the right of the bird.




All the best Björn





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Hi, thank you for all remarks!


I measured a little bit, the chisel lines for the waves are at their widest a little less than 0.5mm. The "sign" has surprisingly the same length as the width ~2.3mm. The chisels for the bird right-wing are ~0.2mm at their thickest. Looking at the space between these chisels marks on the wing their sizes is between 0,42mm to 0,48mm ... so an error of 0,06mm O.O to keep the lines uniformely in between.


I feel a bit evil when going in with magnification. I do hope they could work under a microscope to not strain their eyes. Mine are already watering up. 


I feel the "signs" to the right of the bird feel more intentional? than a random effect. Could the  lower "sign" be the kanji for water, and if considering this what would the upper two signs then be combined with water. 


 Another question, for the silver and gold paint? Is this original? or applied later and was this coloring something the artist wanted? Or was the whole piece black?


Best Björn





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Looking at the pictures it seems like a different metal was used for the silver parts, so also a different color was intended. Goto masters often worked with Shakudo, Silver and Gold in one work.

The small marks are no signatures unfortunately. Goto signed their pieces quite clearly. However, there are some secret signatures on Goto pieces in form of small dots often on the side of the pieces. These were made as kind of a secret sign by a later master, that the piece is genuine and from an earlier master, if I remember correctly. You can find some more info about how to identify goto pieces under tsuba.info/goto

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