netsuke and sagemono lounge : Disclaimer - Please click anywhere on this bar to expand/contract the content.

Bonsai Man

All questions about netsuke in this category will be moved here
Curt
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Bonsai Man

Postby Curt » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:37 pm

Well, it's Thursday morning in southern Indiana. So let's put on our sweater and walk over to the NLO Honey Hole and see what we can find...(sounds of tiny objects being moved about)... Here we go - Bonsai Man!

I was attracted to this because I have bonsai - the same one has been sitting at our front door of the gallery for almost 30 years - so that put it on the list. Secondly it is extremely well carved. The face and robe as well as the open mouth to his teeth. Even the rings around the Himotoshi that Judy mentioned might be a possible warning sign are incised and modeled. The wood grain on the Bonsai pot is very well done to my untrained eye. I thought, perhaps it's cast - I did the hot needle test, and no melting. But I have also learned here that there are materials the mimic elephant ivory, which this material possesses the same look. The carving on the tree by his hand is very intricate, with the interior branches carved up inside very deep and individually formed. If this is a casting, it's pretty remarkable. To me, it looks like the real thing, but perhaps not. It has a signature which looks slightly out of place to the carving. As Martyn has said to me 'don't rely on signatures' and of course I don't as I don't know which end is up. :)

Purchase date May 1999
Auction entry reads: "Well-carved and scrimmed, ivory netsuke of a seated man with a bonsai, good detailing, signed.

I like this carving no matter what it really is. Since he's so happy - I am happy, as I know the joys of Bonsai. I hope you enjoy his pleasant spirit too.
Attachments
N37F.jpg
N37R.jpg
N37B.jpg

User avatar
souldeep
Posts: 3564
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby souldeep » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:23 pm

Curt wrote:So let's put on our sweater and walk over to the NLO Honey Hole and see what we can find...(sounds of tiny objects being moved about)... Here we go - Bonsai Man!

That gave me a chuckle. Every post a new angle even though you have strong inclinations on the end answer.

In some ways one might argue that this was a 20thc Japanese export piece, rather than a more recent HK knock off.

I wonder if it's time open to open up a debate on whether we use NLO too widely, and what it was originally coined for?
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

User avatar
souldeep
Posts: 3564
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby souldeep » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:27 pm

Oh and.. Red signatures are a big no no in 9 out of 10 cats. However I think it's trying to say mitsuyuki.
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

Curt
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby Curt » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:51 pm

Martyn - I keep sayin' you guys need an NLO+ category. You know my collection ranks right up there with the best NLO collectors out there. :)

User avatar
chonchon
Posts: 6787
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby chonchon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:24 am

Have you ever seen a Bonsai owner/lover/collector smiling as he/she works? Their faces are a study in concentration. Perhaps when posing for a photograph?

On the other hand, I do on balance get a more Japanese than Chinese feeling from this fellow. There must have been artisans working in Japan too, both Japanese and Chinese, for the tourist trade.
Piers

Size is something.

User avatar
jbjtennyo
Posts: 3699
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:38 pm
Location: USA

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby jbjtennyo » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:08 am

There is a contemporary carver who worked under the name of Shogetsu whose Bonsai carvings were kind of similar--but that red signature doesn't say Shogetsu. I do agree with Martyn in that we need another category - too many 20C tourist pieces have been thrown under the bus as NLO, and they really aren't quite. Perhaps we could call this a modern tourist netsuke?
Judy

User avatar
chonchon
Posts: 6787
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby chonchon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:42 am

光之 as Martyn says, is wanting to be read Mitsuyuki.

How about NQNLO then?
Piers

Size is something.

Curt
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby Curt » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:56 pm

[quote="chonchon"]Have you ever seen a Bonsai owner/lover/collector smiling as he/she works? Their faces are a study in concentration. Perhaps when posing for a photograph?

Ha, Piers -
You haven't seen my freestyle bonsai :) I rescued this one from a home center that was going out of business. I paid $1 for the pot - the stick of a tree was in the pot, with training wire nearly buried in the trunk. When I pulled it out to pitch it - it still had some life to the roots. I cut out the wire and scarified the trunk. 30 years later it still sits in the gallery. I chop on it twice a year. It grows without training. I think it deserves it's freedom. :) Is it pretty? Nope - but it makes me smile every day. It's a survivor.
Attachments
Bonsai.jpg

User avatar
Clive
Posts: 1769
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:52 am
Location: UK

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby Clive » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:07 pm

souldeep wrote:I wonder if it's time open to open up a debate on whether we use NLO too widely, and what it was originally coined for?


I always thought the term utterly nonsensical and if I remember correctly was largely argued for because a few members really objected to words like "crap" being used to describe a crap netsuke. :roll:

User avatar
jbjtennyo
Posts: 3699
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:38 pm
Location: USA

Re: Bonsai Man

Postby jbjtennyo » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:44 pm

Clive, you are correct in your analysis. We can super impose divisions in NLOs - putting them in categories which would feel "kinder" maybe -to have a better quality NLO than a poorly carved asian wannabe, but the hard truth remains that they are not what serious collectors look for, and they won't be marketable if and when you try to sell them.
Curt, if you know what to look for in the antiques that you buy for yourself, and quality is important in the things you have in your shop, and you know what is and isn't marketable, those are the things you want to put in your home and in your shop for sale. The same thing is true about netsuke- you develop an eye for what is true and good and those are the things you want. These other things are only trinkets that have perhaps some emotional appeal, but don't carry with them any real marketable value.
We like very much your good nature and willingness to "take it on the chin" so to speak over some of the carvings that you have shown. But honestly it is painful for us as well. We want to see great netsuke and celebrate each other's findings more than anything! I hope you know that. And I hope that you are by now able to judge more for yourself, and know what the reaction of others here is going to be. That means you're sharpening your own skills, and we celebrate that as well...
Last edited by jbjtennyo on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Judy


Return to “Modern Tourist Souvenir Netsuke & Netsuke-like Objects”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest