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A Confused Sage

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A Confused Sage

Postby Curt » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:56 am

Here's another one that I find confusing. To my eye this is very well carved and detailed - just like a lot of the ones I have. I observed that the quality of carving is only one element. It seems to have a niice natural patina on the back shoulder area. Compared to several others I have posted it is much better quality. Perhaps I'm gun shy, but it still seems off. I think it has some age, but maybe not enough? If someone could take this guy's stick and beat some knowledge in my head - it would be much appreciated. :)
Purchase date April 1999 - Entry reads: Well-carved and detailed, antique ivory netsuke of a sage with staff, signed, ex: DuPont Collection.

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Re: A Confused Sage

Postby chonchon » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:04 am

This one is not my cup of tea, Curt, even if there is some work in it. The facial expression appeals to the casual Western buyer, the black eyebrows give me a warning sign, the signature looks spidery. (The base may be a separate piece of walrus tusk.) As a decoration it is fine, but not as a collector's Netsuke. Just one opinion.

Size is something.

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Re: A Confused Sage

Postby jbjtennyo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:16 pm

Morning Curt,
Sorry to say I agree with Piers on this -there are several things that put up a warning sign to me - The black sumi ink or paint in the eyes and brows is one thing that shuts me down a requires closer examination. Again, the rings around the himotoshi signals 20C tourist piece. Not so much a patina present a a kind of weak stain. Not a collectable netsuke I'm afraid. :(

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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Re: A Confused Sage

Postby Curt » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:44 pm

Piers and Judy -
Thanks for the explanations. I think your observations are very helpful to beginners like me. I can see what you are referring to, as well as why untrained eyes like mine are drawn to such pieces. I feel in the last couple of weeks I have a slightly better understanding of what qualities are important. I look at the ones I have with a little different mind set. Many are starting to look like pretty cabinet trinkets, some you will see are very well carved. But as Judy has noted and I draw parallels in the art world - authenticity maters. Oh, and size is something too, Piers. :)
The education is worth the cost of the mistakes.

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