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Mototan Taiyama Dragon Tsuba


Marco
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Good morning,

I'd like to share this tsuba with you and get your opinion about it:

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I'm trying to verify the signature into the wakayama and I found these:

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283844606_689653592144046_6772486205225057008_n.thumb.jpg.9f1031087fd03d569c8cfaa58e1976db.jpg

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The seller, by describing the author says : "Sekijoken Oyoma Motozane is late edo artisan" and after that "Mototan Taiyama studied into the Nara School, in Edo and after being returned in Mito, he meshed different style like Nara, Hamano and Yokotani but he did really good work with the Akagiken School".

 

Said that, I tried to look for these two names and I found some references into the Wakayama.

 

I don't understand if we're talking of one man only or if there were two men that worked together on the same tsuba (so each of them signed on one side).

The tsuba sounds (and is magnetic) like iron. Measures: 8 x 7,6.

 

Any comment would be really appreciated,

Thanks for the help

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Marco,

 

I don't know why anyone has not responded to your post?  So, I just wanted to let you know my thoughts on the tsuba.  Now, I know very little about tsuba.  But the pictures you posted look to me like a very recent tsuba  (or it could be an older tsuba that was well taken care of).  Maybe someone else with way more knowledge than me can help you.  Anyway, great to communicate with you for the first time!

 

With respect,

Dan

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Aside from thinking it's a really lovely piece, and a high class one, I don't have anything else constructive to say :-)
But it's stunning, and you can be proud to own it.

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9 hours ago, Dan tsuba said:

Hello Marco,

 

I don't know why anyone has not responded to your post?  So, I just wanted to let you know my thoughts on the tsuba.  Now, I know very little about tsuba.  But the pictures you posted look to me like a very recent tsuba  (or it could be an older tsuba that was well taken care of).  Maybe someone else with way more knowledge than me can help you.  Anyway, great to communicate with you for the first time!

 

With respect,

Dan

My pleasure Dan! I'm at the beginning into the path of learning so I can't say the exact time in which it migth have been done.

 

1 hour ago, Brian said:

Aside from thinking it's a really lovely piece, and a high class one, I don't have anything else constructive to say :-)
But it's stunning, and you can be proud to own it.

Thanks Brian!

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I am a bit hesitant to respond here Marco because it is a question I have rather than a knowledgeable remark. I do like your tsuba.

Am I a slow learner ? Because my question is about how the maker actually made the piece ?

Does the maker start off with a mokko shaped plate about 6 or 7mm or so thick all over and then chisel away all of the metal except leaving remaining the shapes of the dragon in semi-relief from the background of say 4mm thick. If so, that is a lot of stock removal. The clouds and other surface marks are more readily achieved.

Or is the tsuba initially cast and then worked on and chiseled to define and refine the final product.

I have iron tsuba where I wonder if some of the iron elements standing in relief from the surface hadn't been later welded on and then finally shaped - or is that a ridiculous idea.

I am well aware of the earlier extended discussion about cast as against straight out chiseled and shaped tsuba. But my mind still hasn't come to grips with precisely how some of these pieces were made. Made in the days before power tools, gas or electric torches or welders, nothing but hammers and chisels and saws and files of lesser quality than today.

Be gentle with me please.

Roger j

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Dear Roger.

 

Imagine inlaying a piece of iron into the surface of your tsuba but rather than making it thin and flush with the original surface, you make it thick so that it stands proud. you can then carve the raised inlay.

 

All the best.

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34 minutes ago, roger dundas said:

I am a bit hesitant to respond here Marco because it is a question I have rather than a knowledgeable remark. I do like your tsuba.

Am I a slow learner ? Because my question is about how the maker actually made the piece ?

Does the maker start off with a mokko shaped plate about 6 or 7mm or so thick all over and then chisel away all of the metal except leaving remaining the shapes of the dragon in semi-relief from the background of say 4mm thick. If so, that is a lot of stock removal. The clouds and other surface marks are more readily achieved.

Or is the tsuba initially cast and then worked on and chiseled to define and refine the final product.

I have iron tsuba where I wonder if some of the iron elements standing in relief from the surface hadn't been later welded on and then finally shaped - or is that a ridiculous idea.

I am well aware of the earlier extended discussion about cast as against straight out chiseled and shaped tsuba. But my mind still hasn't come to grips with precisely how some of these pieces were made. Made in the days before power tools, gas or electric torches or welders, nothing but hammers and chisels and saws and files of lesser quality than today.

Be gentle with me please.

Roger j

 

Dear Roger, I accept all the kind of comments, even negative and especially if they are constructive.

Your comment raised the Geraint answer which can be a learning point for many.

7 minutes ago, Geraint said:

Dear Roger.

 

Imagine inlaying a piece of iron into the surface of your tsuba but rather than making it thin and flush with the original surface, you make it thick so that it stands proud. you can then carve the raised inlay.

 

All the best.

So thank you both for the time you took for answering

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Thanks Marco and Geraint. So that is how it was done, the carved piece that stood proud above the rest of the plate was inlaid (welded ?) onto the forged plate and then chiseled and shaped. That males sense if I read that correctly .

Why I questioned the process was because some of the iron tsuba I have, display on one face just a small butterfly or a small rock or such like, raised above the surface of the plate. If the rest of the plate has been chiseled or filed away then that means a lot of work for not much effect.

Are there any videos I wonder where a tsuba maker in iron is at work ?

Roger j

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In the first photo where you pose the Mei verification question the text on the right says this artist had a peculiar (non-standard) way of writing the central part of castle 城 which is illustrated with the left-facing hook part in bold.

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Rodger- it’s really no different from inlaying into copper, shibuichi, or shakudo. As I recall, Ford shows the technique in the pinned Yugen videos.

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9 hours ago, Bugyotsuji said:

In the first photo where you pose the Mei verification question the text on the right says this artist had a peculiar (non-standard) way of writing the central part of castle 城 which is illustrated with the left-facing hook part in bold.

That's really interesting, thanks!

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