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Reading signatures of NLO's

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:45 pm
by HLH
Dear friends,

I’ve a problem reading some signatures. I would be most grateful if you can help.

Kind regards
Henrik

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:51 pm
by AFNetsuke
Henrik, don't feel bad. None of us can read these either as they are squiggles mimicking signatures. The ones with the inlaid plaques are like the cabinet full of sale "netsuke" I encountered in a bead shop pictured in the introduction to Modern Tourist Souvenir Netsuke and Netsuke-like Objects. The shop was making a handsome profit on them and they were all US $25-30 each. About 200 more of them were in a plastic tub and even cheaper.

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:29 pm
by HLH
Alan,
Thanks for your response. My knowledge in Japanese signs are limited to check and compare in books like in Davey’s but I’m missing a book with photos taken directly from the netsuke. I’m trying to make some statistics on NLO signatures. This to avoid new copies and help myself and maybe others to understand and not buying wrong items.
This is why I like to have the actual names translated to english.

Henrik

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:25 pm
by Oishii
HLH wrote:Alan,
Thanks for your response. My knowledge in Japanese signs are limited to check and compare in books like in Davey’s but I’m missing a book with photos taken directly from the netsuke. I’m trying to make some statistics on NLO signatures. This to avoid new copies and help myself and maybe others to understand and not buying wrong items.
This is why I like to have the actual names translated to english.

Henrik


Dear Henrik,
We believe that the signature may not be the essential element in the assessment of a netsuke.
Looking at a netsuke, there will be some characteristics that are convincing of its quality or authenticity ...
Or they ring the alarm bell point to the piece being an NLO or a fake.
The NLO characteristics are described well in Alan's general post that is sticky on the NLO category.
The weak scribbles of "signatures" may confirm that the piece is an HK knock off.
But looking at the characteristics of this sort of carving will already have given 90 % certainty that the piece is not collectable.
That's why we think it is better to refrain from translating the so-called "signatures".
A registry of the names on these scribbles would not make much sense : instead we focus on how these look like ...

Good luck and do not hesitate to ask if you are in doubt about a netsuke :)

Reading signatures of NLO's

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:43 pm
by HLH
I’ve now tried to do some research on a few of my NLO signatures. Have I got them right ? Please let me know.

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:25 pm
by AFNetsuke
Henrik, while it is good to see you learning about kanji, most of us would suggest you study real signatures and not even try to decipher what inscriptions on NLOs are. Maybe it would be more productive to flip through the pages of your books and look only at the signatures on authentic netsuke, then try deciphering them and learning about the individual artists and how to recognize their characteristics

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:13 pm
by onimh
HLH wrote:Hi onimh,

Thanks but I can’t find anything on ”gomo sen-nin”. Do you have any reference as Google don’t give any useful hits.



The paragraph on Gomo copied below comes from the following website.

https://archive.org/stream/legendinjapa ... 1_djvu.txt
252. GOMO ^ The Taoist worthy, Wu Meng. When eight years

old, he suffered himself to be bitten by mosquitoes, rather than brush them

aside for fear they might plague his parents who lived in the same room.
This paragon of filial piety became a disciple of the wizard Ting I A. T Hfc
(Shi jin Teiji), and as an example of his proficiency, he is often repre-
sented crossing a river on a feather fan, which he waved over the boisterous
waters, as the winds were against his progress. He is also represented
with fan in hand, driving through the heavens a chariot drawn by two
stags. He is credited with the slaying of a giant snake, and his favourite
pupil appears to have been Fu Chen Rung. His daughter, Tsai Lwan,
is the Shinretsu, or Gosairan of the Japanese, herself an adept of Taoist
necromancy and the companion of Bunsho (Wen Siao) (q.v.) with whom
she is depicted riding on tigers above Mount Etsuo.

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:28 pm
by HLH
Onimh, a very useful link. This will keep me busy for a while.
Thanks a lot.

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:54 am
by chonchon
Dear Henrik, most of those readings are correct, except for the last one which I cannot see at that angle and focus.

Sadly, many of those are old favourites, ie typical 'Japanese-looking/sounding' signatures often used by Chinese artisans. In fact names like Shozan, Ishikawa, Yamaguchi should raise instant warning flags. They are designed to look the part, hoping the general public will snap them up, but will not pass deeper scrutiny.

Re: Reading signatures

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:51 am
by HLH
Piers,

Thank you very much. Now I know thats not just scribbles, but names from many of the great carvers. Its the same thing with the Chinese porcelain which I’ve collected for so long now so I can’t remember when started. There you have the same situation with nien-hao signs. When I talked to a Chinese friend, he said that originally was to honor the earlier emperors. But nowadays its pure business.
Sorry for the blurry photo I’ve enclosed a better one.